Finally ready to release a new album after 1998’s Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star, Mos Def (who now goes by Yasiin Bey) and Talib Kweli are back as, you guessed it, Black Star. Backed by The Roots, Black Star performed “You Already Knew” from their Aretha Franklin-inspired mix tape, as well as a song called “Little Brother” (after the jump) on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Black Star performed “You Already Knew” with a raw, charged emotion, tapping into some of the issues Watch The Throne attempted to tackle with a sincerity and refinement that Hov and Ye didn’t quite pull off. A formidable hip-hop pairing indeed, we’ve been waiting years for the duo’s next album, and we can barely contain our excitement that it’s almost here!
Rapper Snoop Dogg became a game show hero yesterday after appearing on The Price Is Right as part of the iconic show’s “Celebrity Charity Week.” Being revealed on stage in a 1962 Lincoln convertible, Snoop certainly didn’t sacrifice his decadent style for the show — and helped the adorably excited contestant, Darlene, win the big prize. Playing the “Check Out” game together, Snoop was super encouraging of his teammate, and had a smile on his face as though he were genuinely having the time of his life.
Enthusiastic and animated, Snoop shouted at the audience for help, and egged on the nervous contestant giving her encouragement at every turn. And rightly so — every dollar she won was matched and donated to his youth charity, the Snoop Football League. Lucky then, that she won the car and went on to score another $72,000. “Celebrity Charity Week” will air all this week, and will also feature VH1 favorite Chris Daughtry, amongst others.
Finding fame when their song “Beauty’s Running Wild” was featured in an episode of CSI: New York, closely followed by another of their tracks, “Heart On Fire,” being chosen as the lead song on the current season of Grey’s Anatomy, Scars On 45 are now VH1’s featured You Oughta Know artist. So if you’ve been wondering who was responsible for the great songs on your favorite TV shows, well, now you know!
Last month, Scars On 45 released their video for “Heart On Fire,” which you can watch above. The song itself is romantic and moody, and will resonate with anyone who’s ever been in love. The video is a dramatic combination of smoke and blue-lit black ground, interspersed with gripping imagery of firemen rescuing victims from a burning building. With their first full length album set to drop this year, we’re excited to see more epic videos to accompany the band’s pervasive sounds. And we were lucky enough to have Scars On 45 pop into the VH1 studios to play live last year, as they moved us with their stripped down performance of Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” Scars On 45 imbibed the club banger with an altogetherly different vibe, truly making it their own with nothing but the lyrics tying their rendition to the original.
Rapper 50 Cent is no stranger to success; all four of his already released albums garnered healthy doses of commercial success. His first album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, released in 2003, sold eight million copies, making it the fourth biggest selling hip hop album of all-time in the USA. The Massacre, released in 2005, sold 1.14 million copies in its first week, which makes it the sixth fastest-selling album since 1991 (when SoundScan began compiling sales data), and 2007’s Curtis sold 1.3 million copies. However, his 2009 joint Before I Self Destruct, only managed to sell 436,000 copies, and now it seems that his record label is losing confidence in his current project. Over the New Year holiday, 50 Cent took to Twitter to complain about Interscope letting him down. At 4:11 am on the 31st of December, 50 tweeted, “I got 3,500,000 views in 3 day on hands up. Ok I need a record deal jimmy iovine , call me early tomorrow or I’m putting out another mix tape.” Later the same day, 50 Cent reiterated his frustration and disappointment on Twitter:
My next album is great its shame the hardest people to work with were suppose to be on the same team with me. SK
— 50cent (@50cent) December 31, 2011
Cee Lo Green rang in the New Year on Saturday night in controversial fashion, stirring up John Lennon fans by changing the words to the late Beatles‘ iconic song, “Imagine.” On stage at Times Square on New Year’s Eve, instead of singing the original, “Imagine there’s no countries / It isn’t hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too,” Cee Lo decided to change the last stanza to, “And all religion’s true.” Not only did Cee Lo take it upon himself to essentially change the whole meaning of the song — which envisages a world without any borders, including race, sex and religion, that relies on common humanity to bind people — he also did so wearing a lavish fur coat and sunglasses, which only added to the vitriol Cee Lo received.
Fans took to Twitter to vent their frustration; @ElayneBoosler Tweeted, “If Cee Lo Green is going to sing ‘nothing 2 kill or die 4′, he shouldn’t b wearing FUR when he does. Shallow asshat. #tailsofjoy,” while @Ash_Brew wrote, “John Lennon is turning over in his grave as Cee Lo Green butchers ‘Imagine’ in Times Square,” and @Franky_1189 said, “Thanks Cee Lo Green, you just destroyed an amazing song and ended 2011 on a horrible note. Literally. #imagine.” Cee Lo allegedly Tweeted an apology, “Yo I meant no disrespect by changing the lyric guys! I was trying to say a world were u could believe what u wanted that’s all,” however the remorseful Tweet appears to have been since taken down and replaced with a simple “Happy new year everyone!!!!!!”
2011 has been a big year in music, and between the Grammys, new babies, viral artists and some great losses, the music world has been rocked over and over again. With only a few days left until we wave goodbye to 2011, we’re reflecting on the 10 biggest stories of the year…
1. Beyoncé’s Pregnancy
Forget actual music — who cares about music when the Queen Of Everything is pregnant? It seemed like all anyone was talking about in 2011 was Beyoncé‘s pregnancy, from the initial, dramatic reveal during her VMAs performance of “Love On Top,” to the controversy surrounding the realness of her baby bump. And now the world waits with baited breath for the chosen one to emerge from the most revered womb on earth.
Yesterday we reported that Adele sold 5 million copies of 21 this year, and now we’re back with more Adele news because just when it seems that the girl has reached the top, she outdoes herself (again). In the latest Adele-centric news, Billboard has predicted, based on their projections, that 21 will re-claim the number one spot on their Billboard 200 chart next week (the album is currently at number two). If this happens, it will be Adele’s 14th non-consecutive week at number one (not to mention a great start to the new year), the only album beating her being the Titanic soundtrack which topped the charts for 16 weeks in 1998. It’s been a big year for Adele, and we’re wondering what will happen to her powerhouse, chart dominating prowess, given that the singer/songwriter has proclaimed we wont be hearing another album from her for around four or five years.
[Photo: Getty Images]
It’s almost New Year’s Eve, that one, glorious, most hopeful night of the year. It’s also that one night you’re going to party like it’s 1999, so let this week be dedicated to mani-pedis, haircuts, outfit buying, midnight kiss daydreaming, preemptive sleeping and playlist making. When it comes to partying, everyone has a distinctive song, an anthem, if you will — and we’re here to tell you what your New Year’s Eve theme song, that banger you’re going to be cranking at midnight, says about your party style, and what kind of New Year’s Eve you can expect…
Britney Spears – “Til The World Ends”
You’re either a strong believer in Mayan mythology or you just really, really love dancing. Chances are you’re going to be on the dance floor all night — forget about everything else, you just want to dance (until the world ends, heh). We’re going to take a punt and guess that you were going through puberty the first time you heard “… Baby One More Time,” and that Britney just so, like, makes you feel like a teenager again! If you’re anything like us (a Britney stalwart since the start), you’re just completely ecstatic to see Britney get her groove back.
It has been revealed that New York’s Mayor Bloomberg has selected Lady Gaga to be the official “ball dropper” at this weekend’s New Year’s Eve festivities at Times Square. We’re excited for Gaga to have been given the famed officious role, but more excited to see if Bloomberg gets down to “Born This Way.” The selection seems pertinent given Mother Monster’s vocal stance on LGBT rights this year, and New York’s landmark decision to legalise gay marriage — so Lady Gaga isn’t just a LGBT icon anymore, she’s a symbol of New York City, one of the town’s biggest personalities. Gaga won’t only press the ball dropping button to signal midnight, she’s going to perform on Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, so get ready for some truly weird and wonderful party vibes. We wonder what manner of couture the Lady will be garbed in, and whether she’ll go all out and make it NYE or New York themed.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Van Halen yesterday confirmed that they will indeed be getting back together and taking their rock show back on the road for another spin. If that wasn’t exciting enough, the band has also announced that their original front man, David Lee Roth, will be fronting the tour. And in the most epic way possible, Van Halen have announced all this with a dance and glitter filled video on their website. The inspiring video is set to the sound of the classic “Jump,” and features Roth’s iconic dance moves, Eddie Van Halen‘s shredding guitar and Alex Van Halen‘s banging drums, as well as current bass player Wolfgang (Eddie’s son), all being showered with glitter and rendered in nostalgic black and white. If all that wasn’t enough to make you jump (sorry, we couldn’t resist), the guys will also be working on their first album with Roth in 27 years. Tickets for the tour go on sale on the 10th of January, and we can hear the anticipation as new year’s resolutions are shifted to include seeing the Van Halen legends on stage one more time.