We’ve heard plenty from Lily Allen since she releasedIt’s Not Me, It’s You in 2009, but not very much of it was music-related, because that, the big mouth songstress said, she was done with. Except apparently she’s not.
Last night Allen announced on Twitter that she is back in the studio, thus ending her self-imposed hiatus. “you will be pleased to know that i am currently in the f****** studio with [It's Not Me, It's You producer] @GregKurstin so SHUT UP PETER!” she wrote, countering a from the site PopJustice about her paused career and breaking the news in one tweet. “No big deal really,” she clarified. ”im just throwing shit at the wall and seeing if anything sticks.” But for eager fans, any news of new music is good news enough.
Allen has kept plenty busy in her break from music: she launched a clothing rental store with her sister; started her own record label, a Sony imprint called In the Name Of (Brooklyn’s Cults were her first signee); and, after suffering through several very public miscarriages, she gave birth to her first child, Ethel Mary.
Music sounds better in the summer, everyone knows this. It gets bigger, so we can bang it from our cars; and other times it gets weirder, because the sun’s got us spinning anyways. Most of all, the promise of Labor Day —when we can put away our ”Call Me Maybes” with our white pants— begs repeat listening. Thusly, if you need me, I’ll be listening to one of these Song Of The Summer this summer:
NOMINATION: Justin Bieber, “Boyfriend” EXPLANATION: So what if it’s not really “chilling by the fire while we’re eating fondue” season? There is nothing this season so sweet as this falsetto bridge “I like to be everything you want / hey girl let me talk to you.” While being a little amateurish, his breathy rapping recalls the Ying Yang Twins’ “Whistle Song” in all the right ways; and the Justin Timberlake-like guitar picked chorus isn’t so bad, either. Read more…
We’re not gonna lie, everyone here at VH1 is pretty smitten with Elle King. So much so that from the moment our Creative Music Integration (CMI) team heard this 23 year-old’s raw, soulful-beyond-her-years voice on “Playing For Keeps,” they knew that it would make the perfect theme song for Mob Wives: Chicago. Elle came by our offices last week to celebrate the release of her brand new, eponymous EP, and our own Lauren Weissler spent the day trailing Elle and taking these gorgeous photographs —some of which come with commentary from Elle herself!— for the latest entry in our ongoing Music Seen series.
“Usually at 7 am my make up is the same from the night before. I was also really excited that for the first time I got to look and dress how I wanted and really be myself.”
So, Slaughterhouse’s “My Life” video is awkwardly weird…at first. There, we said it. Yet even with all of its awkwardness it’s lovable. Sure, instead of a six and a half minute video it could have been four. At the start of the video Joell Ortiz is watching Eminem on Rappers Are Richer Than You, a Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous-esque program. Since Eminem doesn’t have a verse on the track we probably could have bypassed the wonky show where Em owns 300 Chrysler 300s, and is chills with T-rex dinosaurs as pets in his mansion. But then we wouldn’t have the classic clip of Em dipping his hands in a white bowl while the narrator says, “By bathing in the tears of other rappers.” That alone is worth the two minute Eminem Show intro. Read more…
Speaking with DJ Funkmaster Flex last night on New York City radio station Hot 97, Clipse and G.O.O.D. Music rapper Pusha T let it slip that Cruel Summer — the G.O.O.D. Music all-star compilation that Kanye West has been teasing since last fall — is set to drop later this summer. “August 7, G.O.O.D. Music compliation coming August 7,” he said. “So fitting, right? Cruel! Stifling!” Pusha, tell us more!
Be warned that, as we learned last summer with Watch the Throne, these sorts of album releases don’t always go as planned. That said, Kanye has been teasing this album since last fall, and the lead single “Mercy” has seen heavy-radio rotation already this summer. A summer without the rest of Cruel Summer would be cruel indeed.
Pusha also used the call to address rumors of a Clipse split (“We definitely coming back with another Clipse album”), and he also called “Ghoulish,” that Lil Wayne’s dis track, “trash.”
Grab your Kleenex, folks. Even as a social media novice, Beyoncé reigns supreme in the way she uses Tumblr. Although one aspect is to give fans an intimate glimpse into her incredibly private life, the other is to inspire. Bey recently used her Tumblr page to pen an open letter to Timmy Kelly, a blind fan with cerebral palsy. She met Timmy Kelly backstage at the GRAMMYs when he was only 13. According to her letter, he inspired her because of his love of music. Five years later Timmy has graduated high school and was accepted to Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance. Queen Bey wants everyone to know, if Timmy can do it, you can too. Read more…
Michael Kiwanuka swung by the Late Show with David Letterman last night to share with the late night audience the indelible talent that we were so lucky to have experienced live last week. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a soft-playing backing band, the British singer performed the doleful “I’m Getting Ready.” With a voice soft and soulful beyond its 24-years, watching this made us wish that Kiwanuka would sing us to sleep everynight.
And we suspect we are not alone in that longing. For one, John Mayer – surely a man in the singing song/writing business worth wooing – was impressed. Or, rather, he was “dumbfounded.” “What a voice. What a song. What a vibe. What a soul. What a message,” he wrote breathlessly (or as breathlessly as one can write) on his Tumblr, thusly deeming Kiwanuka “a revelation.” Who are we to disagree?
A$AP ROCKY WILL PLAY JFK IN LANA DEL REY AKA A$AP JACKIE O’S “NATIONAL ANTHEM” VIDEO Not so sure about this plan? “People are going to get it in three years, and that’s the whole purpose of it,” he assures. [HipHopDX]
Duran Duran has a right to be tired. After all, they arrived at ABC’s Times Square studios at 5:30 a.m. to prep for their appearance on Good Morning America, one of a few stops they’ve made during a brief, whirlwind promotional sojourn for their upcoming concert film release, A Diamond In The Mind. However, when we caught up with Nick Rhodes (synths) and Roger Taylor (drums) in the lobby of SoHo’s Mercer Hotel on Monday afternoon around 2 p.m. — Nick drinking a glass of rosé, Roger making his way through a bottle of sparkling water — the guys were full of energy. Their opening comment about naptime disturbance was presented with a good-hearted laugh and a smile, as the guys were snappily dressed —what else would you expect?— and excited to discuss their new film.
“I think when you make a concert film what you’re always trying to do is capture the energy of the performance,” Rhodes explained, “and the atmosphere and the spirit that was in the room when you actually played the show. And, obviously, that’s very hard to capture on film. But with this one, i think we definitely got as close as we ever have because you can see the intimacy and the interaction on stage.”
“It seems like the further north (in England) you get, the crazier the audiences get,” Taylor told us about the band’s choice to film the show in Manchester. “And on this night, it was Mad Friday, which is the last drinking night before Christmas, so the crowd was good and rowdy.”
Everywhere Justin Bieber shows up you can expect a host of screaming young girls hoping to have one glance at the 18-year-old heartthrob. But young girls aren’t the only admirers of the pop sensation. When Bieber stopped by The View the admiration of the hosts was as obvious as his teeny bopper fans. Biebs kept it simple for his performance of the ballad “Die In Your Arms,” which seems to be the fan favorite from his album. Instead of gliding across the stage as he did for “Boyfriend,” he sits on a stool next to his guitar player and sings. The girls in the audience cry, sing along and reach out to touch him. Read more…