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K’Naan: Somali MC Rocks Politics & Fun

K?naan?s full name is Keinan Warsame, and the first part of that moniker means ?traveler.? Well chosen, because the Mogadishu-born MC has bounced around a bit. He grew up in Somalia, moved to Harlem, spread his artistic wings in Toronto, and is now on the road supporting his very impressive second disc, Troubador.

He honed his flow as a kid, echoing the rap cassettes his dad would send across the Atlantic from NYC. It has paid off. On the new CD?s ?ABCs? he manages boast about his skills, stump for the education of kids, and give Chubb Rock plenty of elbow room. Troubador has silly rhymes, thoughtful rhymes, political rhymes, and funky rhymes. It gets lots of jobs done.

We asked K?naan, VH1 Soul’s latest You Oughta Know artist, a few off-the-cuff questions right after he and his group wailed through a performance on Jimmy Kimmel?s show in late February.


Name a great memory from childhood.
?There are a lot of them, but there was this one rainy day where about 50 kids from our neighborhood in Somalia went to a lake that used to fill up during rainstorms. It was beautiful to swim in. Kids from other neighborhoods were scared of kids from our neighborhood. When we reached the lake, the other kids cleared. We had the whole thing to ourselves. You could jump from little cliffs. We stayed there ?til the evening.?

What are you, a morning or night person?
?Night. I like the silence, and I like knowing that everyone else is asleep ? like I?ve got one up on everyone. I stay up late, and usually go to bed when I?m exhausted from a show or some studio work – I collapse. I do my reading elsewhere; in bed, it?s like ?let?s just sleep.??

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Win Tickets to the Britney Spears & Pussycat Dolls Tour

The Pussycat Dolls have a new video for “Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny).” Britney Spears has a new video for “If U Seek Amy.” That’s good news, of course. But better still is the fact that both acts are touring the country right now, Brit’s first big string of shows in a long while.

Do you want to see this show? Thought so. Be here Monday March 16 to find out how you can win a pair of tickets to a pair of concerts. We’re giving away passes for the L.A. and Vegas dates. Participate in our sweepstakes and you may be sitting pretty. See you Monday for more details.

Above you can find a behind the scenes look into the Dolls making their latest video. “Jai Ho,” too, premieres on VH1 this Monday.

Watch Britney Spears Box Set

Watch Pussycat Dolls videos

Get Brit / Dolls Tour Dates

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Ask Ray J: Our Celebreality Star Answers Your Questions

You guys sent Ray J lots of questions, and he stopped by to answer ‘em. As fans of For the Love of Ray J know, our hero isn’t shy, so whether the query was about having someone cheat on him, squeezing it up with a big-boned lady, or the lyrics to his next CD, he gave ‘em his all. And he answered quite a few. During the next five weeks, we’re rolling out a string of responses. Be here for each new addition.

Head to Rhapsody to hear For The Love of Ray J (The Soundtrack). Fans of the show will definitely be interested in the title cut – it discusses all the ladies Ray surrounds himself with.

Watch the latest For The Love of Ray J full episode

Watch Ray J’s Top Five Fitness Tips

Watch Ray J Music Videos

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Vote On One Hit Wonders From The 80s!

They came, they conquered, and they vanished. That’s how it is in pop sometimes. But one hit wonders have nothing to be ashamed of – just registering a single smash is a sizable career accomplishment.

The ’80s seemed to be a big decade for the old OHW phenomenon. Hip-hop was coming into its, synth bands were charting and disappearing – the charts were always in flux. From March 31- April 3 we’re counting down the 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the ’80s, and you guys still have time to weigh in on how the ranking is going to look. Maybe you’re a fan of the Vapors. Maybe you adore Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock‘s “It Takes Two.” Maybe you’ve never gotten over the narrative of ‘Til Tuesday’s “Voices Carry” (watch it above).

VOTE ON AND WATCH 80s ONE HIT WONDER VIDEOS

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Free Radio: Lance Takes On Dr. Drew

Sober House airs its finale tonight (get a sneak right here). But it looks like Dr. Drew isn’t the biggest fan of Lance, the self-proclaimed “Moron in the Morning,” from VH1′s Free Radio. Check the clip above to get a taste of our comedy. It’s second season premieres on Thursday, April 2.

Our improvised comedy reveals the cluckish side of “celebrity, mediocrity, and talk radio,” pulling back the curtain on the dynamics of the studio, and revealing a “glorious train wreck of botched celebrity interviews, on-air tantrums and generally lovable buffoonery.”

Watch a full episode of Free Radio from last season, with Lance working with an office temp.

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100 Greatest Hits of the 80s Airs Tonight

You never need much of an excuse to take a sec and bask in the glory of Michael Jackson‘s “Billie Jean.” Remember, he wasn’t always off his rocker. We’re just posting the video to remind that The 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s is taking over the VH1 airwaves this afternoon and evening. The list stretches from Bon Jovi to Wham! to the B-52s to Madonna herself. Yep, they’ve also got lots of pundits cracking wise about the era and its music. The show goes from 5 pm – 10 pm ET.

Watch a playlist of the 100 Greatest Songs of the ’80s

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John Mayer & Common Help Save The Music

All year long Save the Music is on case, putting music back in the public schools, where budget cuts have ravaged the arts. They’re doing the work of heroes, as are those who throw in with STM’s efforts, like a guy by the name of John Mayer. Each year the singer packs up a bunch of pals and goes on an nautical adventure called the MayerCraft Cruise. Before they leave port this time around, they’re having themselves a big bash that will fuel some of Save The Music’s 2009 initiatives.

The “One Splendid Evening” concert features Gavin Rossdale, O.A.R, Sara Bareilles, Guster, Erin McCarley, and DJ Logic. It’s being held on March 26, on the Carnival Splendor, docked at the Port of San Pedro in Los Angeles. Tickets are available at Save The Music.

BUT WAIT, THAT’S NOT ALL…

More Save The Music fundraising is taking place in Chicago and Los Angeles. Common and Biz Markie are connecting to celebrate the power of technology at the Musicology 101 event, which “celebrate human potential” and showcases the Windows Experience Lounge.? For ticket info head to the Hard Rock Cafe Web site.

Monday, March 16 – Hard Rock Cafe Citywalk, Hollywood, California? (8 pm – 12 am)

Monday, April 6 – Hard Rock Cafe, Chicago? (8 pm – 12 am)

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Listen to Ray J’s New Soundtrack CD

He calls him self a “sexual gorilla”? and explains the erotic particulars of a “human banana split” – on his new record, Ray J reminds us that he’s not only a VIP and celebreality star, he’s also a red-blooded dude with an eye for the ladies.

For The Love of Ray J (The Soundtrack) boasts that famous Ray J hush, a vocal style that makes it seem like he’s whispering in your ear. A handful of pals help out on various tracks: Warren G, Shorty Mack, Slim Thug, and Sheek Louch all show up for a bit.

“Sex in the Rain” and “Dirty Samantha” are items of interest. But those who are glued to VH1 on Monday nights are going to have to hear what the CD’s title cut says about each of the women on his hit show – yes, including Danger. Get the entire track listing and an X-Rated Ray J photo gallery after the jump.

Download For The Love of Ray J (Soundtrack) now, exclusively on Rhapsody.

Watch Ray J answer fan questions about romance and fame

Watch the latest full episode of For the Love of Ray J.

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The Anvil Movie: Get Dates & Tickets

Rock and film circles have been buzzing about Anvil! The Story of Anvil ever since the movie premiered at Sundance. The ’80s hard rock outfit is perpetually cited as crucial forerunners to modern metal superheroes (check the enthusiasm from Lars Ulrich and Lemmy Kilmister in the clip above), and with the arrival of this new film portrait, the band’s stock is on the rise again. So we’re happy announce a handful of special advance dates where the movie will be screened and the guys will play. Make the jump to see where the guys will be.

Get Anvil info on VH1

Get ticket info for the movie and performance tour.

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Styx & REO Speedwagon Connect For Summer Tour

Want to talk commitment? Want to talk dedication? Lots of bands can tour together, but only two make a point to connect with each other to write a song for the occasion. Styx and REO Speedwagon are criss-crossing the country this summer; the tour dates were recently announced this week. When they take the stage, they’ll be playing a new tune written by Kevin Cronin and Tommy Shaw, “Can’t Stop Rockin’.” The guys recently recorded it, and it will be available for download soon.

The shows are presented by VH1 Classic and Rock Band. Perhaps the best part about ‘em is their cost. The tickets are being priced in a fan-friendly way, which the guys are deeming a “rock ‘n’ roll stimulus package.” Prices in some markets are as low as $13.50. “Both bands have always tried to keep our ticket prices low so that none of our fans get left out.” says Tommy Shaw.? “?It?s been nine years since the Arch Allies tour and it just seemed like the right time to team up with our friends in REO and hit the road again.?

Make the jump for a full listing of tour dates. 38 Special is also on the bill.

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