by (@unclegrambo)

40 Most Shocking Hip Hop Moments Set To Debut On Sunday, September 18

Ever since the first time that someone decided to break out a turntable at a block party in the Bronx, scandal and hip hop have gone together like peanut butter and jelly. From notorious murders and untimely deaths to sleazy sex scandals and high-profile arrests, rarely does a week go by without some sort of drama going down in the hip hop community. On VH1?s 40 Most Shocking Hip Hop Moments, which debuts this Sunday, September 18, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, we?ll count down the most mind blowing, controversial, stunning and horrific moments ever.

You’ll have to watch the show to guess the final order, but some of the things you can expect to see will range from the silly (like Gucci Mane?s triple scoop ice cream cone face tattoo and Nicki Minaj getting her booty slapped by Regis Philbin) to the serious (the murders of Biggie and Tupac, the latter of which occured 15 years ago this month). On VH1?s 40 Most Shocking Hip Hop Moments, we?ll revisit all the stories that caused people to either gasp or #SMH.

VH1’s 40 Most Shocking Hip Hop Moments is a two-hour special, which will immediately be followed by the television premiere of our latest Rock Doc, Planet Rock: The Story Of Hip Hop And The Crack Generation. It’s a night that hip hop fans won’t want to miss! To get a taste of what it will be like, follow along to watch comedian and familiar VH1 talking head Donnell Rawlings share his personal thoughts on what the most shocking thing about hip hop is.

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The Nevermind Cast (Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, And Butch Vig) On Kurt Cobain And Twenty Years

When Krist Novoselic announced that he’d be performing at this Tuesday’s Nevermind tribute concert at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, some hoped for a reunion of the surviving members of Nirvana‘s 1991 lineup?but it was not to be (although PROMO ALERT thanks to VH1 Classic we will be premiering unseen 1991 concert film Nirvana: Live At The Paramount Friday, September 23 at 11PM ET/PT on VH1, VH1 Classic, and Palladia). But Novoselic, Dave Grohl, and producer Butch Vig did reunite recently, for at least the second time in the last year (the first was in the studio for the recording of “I Should Have Known” for Foo Fighters album Wasting Light), to talk to Jeff Weiss for Britain’s NME.

“My life was split in two by Nevermind,” Grohl tells the magazine, noting that he doesn’t remember the recording sessions or album release that well?and recalls plenty of time after its release but before it really broke: “In our own little world, things stayed the same for a while.” Of course, all three spend the interview alternately downplaying the content of the album as particularly revolutionary (chalking its success up to timing and pop sensibilities) and giving any credit for what might be special about Nevermind to the late Kurt Cobain. “You can’t forget what an artist Kurt Cobain was,” Novoselic insists. “He would draw, he would do sculpture, and he would write songs. He was really gifted.” (When later asked what would have happened if Cobain had not died, he only responds, “You can’t downplay what happened at the end, so that’s a really hard question to answer. It’s just too monumental.”)

Butch Vig, who would later form Garbage, mostly stays quiet (though if you’re interested in his comments on the album, check out the documentary Classic Albums: Nirvana: Nevermind, in which his extraordinarily obvious-in-retrospect observations about his production technique belie his real talent as a producer). Of course, there was little to add about the experience of recording because, as Vig reports here, “There was no drama.”
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by (@unclegrambo)

The Hold Steady To Perform A Show In NYC This Weekend Benefiting VH1’s Save The Music Foundation

Minneapolis-bred but Brooklyn-based rock band The Hold Steady have earned themselves a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most dynamic live acts of the last five years or so, thanks to their combination of massive riffs and the can’t-take-your-eyes-off-him stage presence of lead singer Craig Finn. This Saturday night, September 17, the band is headlining Eventbrite’s Concert Confidential show at the Beekman Beergarden in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport. The event will not only benefit the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, but attendees will also have the option to make an additional donation to one of the worthiest causes we can think of at the door. Best of all? There are a limited amount of free tickets available now! So snag some tickets, order yourself up a few “double whiskey coke no ices” while you’re there, and have fun with one of the best rock bands on the scene these days. It’s all for a good cause!

The Hold Steady – Concert Confidential RSVP [Eventbrite]


Posted: “All Night Long,” Demi Lovato’s Collaboration With Missy Elliott And Timbaland, Premieres

We’ve been anxious to hear Unbroken, the forthcoming album from September’s VH1 Posted artist Demi Lovato, for some time, and one track in particular had us very curious: “All Night Long,” a song produced by, and featuring, Missy Elliott and Timbaland. Now, less than a week before the album’s release, the track is streaming via Unbroken 9/, a splash page for with a handy release-date reminder address.

Lovato gave a good capsule summary of the collaboration when she spoke to MTV News two weeks ago: “It’s about staying up all night long and singing it to the boy that you like, and it’s flirty and fun and it’s not too grown-up, but it’s grown-up enough.” Despite the heavy-hitters’ contributions, Lovato is indisputably the star of the show, and she’s certainly got her pop-song flirt-mode on lock (“I like you, put your number in my phone/ Yeah, you heard me right, so call me when you’re all alone”). Missy Elliott, who has always had a knack for being raunchy yet radio-friendly (remember the elephant noise on “Work It”?) nevertheless dials it back for her verse (“Will you be my type by the end of the night?/ We can pillow fight”) in order to match that vibe without compromising her voice. Timbaland’s highly processed vocal contributions provide the hook and various interjections for Lovato to play off. In short? It’s super fun.

Demi Lovato will be at the VH1 offices on Tuesday, Unbroken‘s release date, talking about the album and answering your questions! Ask her anything by posting your question in the comments of the update she shared with us on Monday! We’ll try to ask as many of your questions as we can.


[Image: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

VH1 Classic To Televise A Never-Before-Seen 1991 Nirvana Concert

Next Saturday, September 24th marks the twenty-year anniversary of Nirvana‘s Nevermind. The album had an undeniable impact on both the music industry and popular culture, one that would be impossible to adequately put into words in the space that we have allotted to us at the moment. (Don’t fret, though; we’ll be getting to that soon enough.)

In honor of this historic anniversary, our friends over at VH1 Classic and Palladia managed to get their hands on some extremely rare footage of Nirvana in concert back in 1991, which they’ll be airing at 11 p.m. next Friday, September 23. This press release about this acquisition just went out over the wires, so without further ado, here’s all the info…


The Historic, First-Time-Televised Concert Will Simulcast On VH1 Classic, VH1 And Palladia

NEW YORK, NY ? September 15, 2011 ? Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Nirvana?s genre-defining second album Nevermind, VH1 Classic will televise a special, never-before-seen concert Nirvana: Live At The Paramount Friday, September 23 at 11 p.m. ET/PT. The 60-minute, hometown concert will also be simulcast on VH1 and Palladia, MTV Networks? high-definition music channel.

View Photo Gallery

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Two Door Cinema Club Perform Live In NYC For An Extremely Hyped Audience

The Webster Hall mainstage may have been host to chillwave buzz band Toro y Moi last night, but for about an hour, all the excitement at the venue was downstairs in the smaller Studio at Webster Hall, as Two Door Cinema Club ripped through most of their 2010 debut Tourist History, plus a couple B-sides, for an extremely hyped audience. All night, kids?some of whom had paid to see Toro y Moi?were trying to sneak in the back door of the already-packed show.

It helped that the band sounded really, really great. We selected them as a You Oughta Know band in February based not only on the strength of their then-nascent single “What You Know,” but the deeper cuts on the album?and those really shined last night. They made the wise decision to tour with a live drummer rather than the programmed beats they created in the studio, and it made all the difference, forcing them to push their harmonies out more so as not to be drowned out, and letting the guitar riff and play more, for a really great, open sound that was still recognizably theirs. But “What You Know” was the song everyone in the building knew: it inspired an immediate, unprompted singalong. The trio (now with drummer) must be accustomed to this, as they chose to close their set with the song. Naturally, the excited crowd wouldn’t let them go without a two-song encore.

We hope you were able to tune into the livestream last night, but if not, we’ve got the setlist below the jump, and be sure to check MTV Hive in two weeks for footage of the show.
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Tuned In: Needtobreathe Have Drive On Leno

Needtobreathe made their television debut on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno yesterday?no small feat for a young band. Once they launched into “Drive All Night,” though, the fortuitous billing made perfect sense. Needtobreathe, it turns out, exist sonically somewhere between Kings of Leon and Mumford and Sons, but enough of their own pop personality to distinguish them as more than mere copycats of either. They impressed Taylor Swift enough to score an opening slot on her Speak Now tour, and they seem to have impressed the Tonight Show audience as well.

Meanwhile, chillwave standard-bearers Neon Indian wowed not only host Jimmy Fallon but also the Late Night studio audience, with help from the Creators Project, who were responsible for Arcade Fire‘s much-lauded Coachella light show. Check out their latest dreamy smooth-80s pastiche “Polish Girl” after the jump.
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Last Lap: Wednesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

50 Cent Changes His Movie’s Name After Chinua Achebe Protests
50 Cent‘s new movie just got a namechange thanks to a critically lauded Nigerian novelist. Chinua Achebe, author of 1958’s English-language riposte to Joseph Conrad, Things Fall Apart, threatened legal action against 50 Cent, whose new film has the same name, and turned down a $1 million settlement offer. Considering that the idiom comes from a Yeats poem, the novelist’s case isn’t necessarily that strong, but “Got sued by Chinua Achebe” is probably not something 50 Cent wants on his resume, so the movie is now titled All Things Fall Apart. (Sidenote: Does this mean Achebe is a Roots fan?) [The Guardian]

Kelly Clarkson, Florence And The Machine Album Details Surface
Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger has a tracklisting (and at Popdust, Katherine St. Asaph speculates which tracks might correspond with which leaked demos). Florence & The Machine also have an official tracklisting and album art for sophomore album Ceremonials, and second track “Shake It Out” has apparently leaked.
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Britney Spears’s Femme Fatale Tour Hits EPIX on November 12

At the beginning of the summer, many (including us) wondered how well Britney Spears would pull off a tour of the magnitude and length she’d scheduled. Really well, it turns out; the Femme Fatale Tour may not have been the show of the summer, but it was at least successful enough to reaffirms her role as a pop icon. Today, EPIX has announced that on November 12 at 8PM ET, they’ll be airing “Britney Spears: Femme Fatale Tour,” a concert special they filmed during Spears’s two-night stand last month in Toronto. The network has shared a sneak peek (though without mention of the 3D version that they supposedly filmed).

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Simon Cowell Talks Trash, Promotes X Factor

If anyone has mastered the art of calculated frank talk, it’s X Factor impresario Simon Cowell. In a conference call promoting the new show yesterday, he had backhanded compliments for everyone (except L.A. Reid). He spoke to Paula Abdul‘s passion for contestants and its authenticity, saying that “she’s still prepared to argue” when the cameras are off?and then compared their reunion to “getting your old dog back from the pound.” As for Nicole Scherzinger, he said she “was [odd] in a fantastically self-centered way and she wasn’t even aware of it,” and then observed that “In every city she changes her accent.” They’re certain to react?and that’s the point. That drama is just as much part of the plot of The X Factor as the actual competition, and we kind of love it. (You can tell because we’re taking Cowell’s bait and writing about his comments. You’re welcome for the free press!)

Cowell also found a way to distinguish his new show not only from American Idol but also last year’s new challenger The Voice. He did Adam Levine one better by doubling down on the commitment to backstory and to learning about the competitors (which Idol does not do)?and then criticizes The Voice for not being good enough at it! If that wasn’t enough, he also gave his Top Five Least Favorite Audition Songs:

R. Kelly “I Believe I Can Fly”
Etta James “At Last”
The Righteous Brothers “Unchained Melody”
Jason Mraz “I’m Yours”
John Legend “Ordinary People”

He professes to love “Ordinary People” but strongly dislike “At Last” and “Unchained Melody.” So auditioners would do well to avoid super-slow love ballads entirely.

Simon Cowell: Don’t Sing These Five Songs [Billboard]

[Image: Getty Images]