Behind The Music

by (@zaragolden)

Behind The Song: Ne-Yo On Writing “Irreplaceable” For Beyonce


Are you on a mobile device? Click here to watch Behind The Song: Ne-Yo, “Irreplaceable.”

This Sunday, VH1′s Behind The Music delves into sweet crooning singer-songwriter Ne-Yo‘s story. Before we get into that, though, we’d like to set the scene by first going Behind The Song with Ne-Yo’s “Irreplaceable,” the chart-topping smash he wrote for Beyoncé.

“There’s a multitude of points throughout my career that re-inspired,” says Ne-Yo, counting as one of them “Irreplaceable,” the country-tinged hip-hop hit he penned for none-less-than Beyoncé to perform. A shining performer in his own right, the song proved Ne-Yo a talented songwriter as well, able to worm his way into the hearts and souls of others with his writing. “Everybody will start telling you that this will never work, that will never work, probably don’t want to experiment, give people what they don’t know, don’t go too far outside of the box,” he says. “We experimented with something and it worked.” And as for that killer “to the left, to the left” line? He got that from his aunt.

Be sure to tune-in when Behind The Music: Ne-Yo premieres on Sunday, September 23 at 9/8c on VH1.

RELATED: Behind The Song: Train, “Drops Of Jupiter”

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by (@zaragolden)

Behind The Song: Train Say “Drops Of Jupiter” Was “The Spark That Got Us Global”

VH1′s Behind The Music kicks off a new season of storytelling this Sunday with Behind The Music: Train, and for this 15th Anniversary round we hope to do you even better by taking you Behind The Song, as well. Posted as an online exclusive ahead of each full episode, Behind The Song will dig deep into the story behind the celebrated artist’s biggest hit or most monumental song. First up, we have Behind The Song: Train’s “Drops of Jupiter,” the song that “was the spark that got us global.”

Deep into recording their sophomore album and still without a single, Train’s lead singer Pat Monahan was struck by a dream about his late mother. “She was swimming through the planets and came to me with drops of Jupiter in her hair,” says Monahan, who woke up with the “back in the atmosphere” line running through his head and the single that would launch Train to multi-platinum status well in the works. From his bed to the studio, the song picked up that “bounce, more of a potentially pop radio sound,” Monahan says, and before they knew it, Train was picking up Grammys (“We were nominated for a Grammy. A few Grammys. Like, five.”) and performing in front of the likes of Bono. “’Drops of Jupiter’ was definitely a gift,” Monahan says.

Be sure to tune-in when Behind The Music: Train premieres on Sunday, September 16 at 9/8c on VH1. Read more…

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Behind The Music Sneak Peak: Biggie’s Rise From Rapping On the Block To Superstar

One of the most tragic moments in hip-hop history was the 1997 murder of Notorious B.I.G., whose young life and promising career was ended at the tender age of 24 in a hail of gunfire. VH1′s Behind The Music: Notorious B.I.G. looks back at the humble beginnings of Brooklyn bred rapper whose two album catalog— Ready to Die and Life After Death— led to his worldwide acclaim. Due to the lyricism present on these LPs, he has earned a place among the greatest rappers of all time.

In this special sneak peek at the latest episode of Behind The Music, which airs tomorrow night at 9 p.m. ET/PT, the Notorious B.I.G.’s mother, Voletta Wallace, is shown holding on to the fond memories of her only child. In rare footage, a young Biggie raps on his block to a swelling crowd of admirers. Big may have found his gift in rhyming, but it wasn’t enough to keep him away from toting guns and selling cocaine in his poverty stricken Bed-Stuy neighborhood. Fortunately, the streets never deterred him from making music.

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Brandy “Puts It Down” On Her Grown Woman Swag With New Single

brandy

Like a school girl geeking out over the boy band heartthrobs Immature of the 90s, I’m having a moment with the premiere of Brandy’s “Put It Down” featuring Chris Brown. Written by Sean Garrett and produced by Bandgladesh, on the first single from her forthcoming album Two Eleven, Brandy has all the ingredients necessary for a hot song — a booming beat, her deep distinctive voice, sexy lyrics and a guest feature from one of the biggest male pop singers. Don’t call it a comeback, call it a reminder. Brandy is showing folks why she’s been in the game for over 15 years. After the song dropped Brandy tweeted to her fans:

Both artists traditionally known for singing are giving rappers a run for their money in Brandy’s hot new record. At the beginning of her second verse, Bran tries her hand at rapping, again (we haven’t forgotten about that rapping alter ego), but only briefly, “I hope the chivalry ain’t dead to you boy ’cause I’m grown. Like to pull up in that, come up with that, when I see what I want,” she raps before jumping right back into her soulful signature sound. And Chris’ rhymes aren’t too shabby either. One of our favorite lines: “I’m sipping on that Brandy, this liquor comes in handy.” Simple, yes, but using her name as a double entendre was a nice touch.

In last night’s Behind the Music, Brandy’s brother said she is finally listening to her inner voice and doing what she wants. If this is any indication of where her album is going, all we can say is, Brandy’s back!

New Music: Brandy x Chris Brown “Put It Down” [Rap Radar]
[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

Watch This Sneak Peek Of Behind The Music: Brandy

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.

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Behind the Music Sneak Peek: How Nas Reconciled with Jay Z

Tonight, legendary emcee Nas joins this season’s Behind the Music alumni of artists like Aaliyah, Nelly, T-Pain, Game and Akon. In the program, the Queens rapper —who entered the hip hop game back in 1994 with the classic Illmatic— opens up about life, love, loss and beef.

Speaking of the latter, Nas’ 2001 rivalry with Jay-Z was, without question, one of hip-hop’s all-time biggest beefs. In this exclusive clip, Nas talks about his reconciliation with one of the game’s biggest luminaries. After the diss records and the hype had dwindled, Nas remembers L.A. Reid asking if he’d be willing to talk to Jay. He went to the studio where Jay was, and like two true New Yorkers whose hearts beat hip-hop, the two dapped each other while laughing. When Nas signed to Def Jam in 2006, Jay-Z said, “You can’t sign an artist of Nas stature. You can only partner with him.”

Watch Behind the Music: Nas tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
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by (@unclegrambo)

Behind The Music Sneak Peek: Find Out How Akon Overcame A Difficult Childhood To Become A Global Phenomenon

It’s been an incredible season of Behind The Music so far, with powerful episodes featuring the likes of Aaliyah, T-Pain, Game, Pitbull, and Nelly. This week, we put the spotlight on Akon, the multi-platinum recording artist who spent his formative years in Senegal.

In this exclusive preview of the show’s first act, we trace Akon’s roots growing up as the son of a famous musician, which led him to meet a teenage Michael Jackson when he was only 5 years-old. His world got turned upside down when he moved to America at the age of 7, where he was treated like an outcast and bullied because of his heritage, which ultimately led him down some dark paths as a youngster. However, he overcame the odds and turned his life around, eventually hooking up with Wyclef Jean and The Fugees. As Akon himself puts it in the clip above, “I love the fact that music is the vehicle to allow me to do what I’m doin’, because that’s all I’m in for: Changing the world.”

You can watch Behind The Music: Akon when it airs tomorrow night, Wednesday, April 11, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
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by (@unclegrambo)

Watch This Special Sneak Peek Of Tomorrow Night’s Behind The Music: Aaliyah

In this week’s episode of Behind The Music, we takes a look back at the brief yet remarkable career of Aaliyah, whose life was cut tragically short at the tender age of 22 when her plane crashed shortly after takeoff in the Bahamas.

This episode, which originally aired back in 2001, has been updated with brand new and never before seen interviews, including her friend and mentor, Missy Elliott. This special sneak preview of the entire first act of the show features some incredible footage of Aaliyah, who couldn’t have been more than 10 at the time, singing a haunting cover of Gloria Estefan’s “Anything For You,” as well as a candid interview with Aaliyah herself about how her Star Search molded her into the performer that she would one day become.

Tune-in to VH1 tomorrow night, Thursday, April 5 to catch the full episode of Behind The Music: Aaliyah when it airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Behind The Music: T-Pain’s Adolescent Struggles Get Resolved Thanks To A Strong Father And A Discarded Keyboard

The first few episodes of the latest season of Behind The Music have been hip hop focused, and this week is no exception. After profiling Pitbull and Game, this Thursday night we’ll profile Florida autotune whiz T-Pain. In this special sneak preview, you’ll get a taste of what life was like for T-Pain (real name: Faheem Najm) growing up in Tallahassee, Florida. You’ll see how a shy kid who experienced what he himself described as a “terrible” childhood broke out of his rut, thanks to his strong father (who enrolled him in a program called “Homeboys To Men”) and a keyboard that was salvaged from the side of the road.

Be sure to tune in to Behind The Music on Thursday, March 22nd at 9/8c on VH1.
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by (@kat_george)

Behind The Music Explores Game’s Misunderstood Hip Hop Persona

Behind The Music is taking a look at the complex life of hip hop artist Game. In this exclusive sneak peek, you can get an idea of where the artist came from, and where he’s going. In the opening scenes of the sneak, Game proposes to his girlfriend at the school she works at, and says he’s growing out of his tumultuous past; “Day by day I have altered my lifestyle into who I am now… A better person, a better friend, a better father, a better everything.” Including interviews with his abusive father and abused mother, the sneak paints a pretty bleak picture of Game’s childhood. The story is absolutely heart wrenching, and Game’s story is a complete tear jerker, and filled with pain and sadness. Covering his dangerous teenage years, the documentary would be much more difficult to watch if we didn’t already know there was a happy ending for Game, who found his way through the chaos of his gang life, including his violent beef with 50 Cent, to forge a successful career as an artist. You can check out the promo trailer after the jump.

Be sure to tune in to Behind The Music on Thursday, March 22nd at 9/8c on VH1.

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