Solange is defining her own womanhood in her own time. Now that eyes (globally!) gawking over her flawless style, she’s redirecting our focus to the music. “Lovers in the Parking Lot” is the second single from her upcoming EP, True. The Dev Hynes produced track with its light piano and cymbals instrumentation complement Solange’s smooth vocals. She sings, “Baby I love you, but I was not done having fun/played around with your heart/now I’m playing around in the dark.” Like her first single “Losing You,” the lyrics are unapologetically candid. This time she isn’t so concerned about losing her lover for good. In “Lovers in the Parking Lot” she recognizes she’s young and not done having fun. In the process she’s hurting the one she loves. All relatable to twenty and thirty-something women who love being in love, but enjoy the benefits of still playing, no strings attached. Being True to herself is bringing out the best in Solange. Read more…
Wow. The geniuses over at the Bieber Factory have done it again. The latest ad for Justin Bieber‘s signature (ladies) fragrance, Girlfriend, employs a brilliant first person technique–where an acoustic version of “Boyfriend” plays over scenes of Bieb interacting with the love of his life: YOU. #Imagine you and Justin running around his villa, driving down the 101, renting That’s My Boy On Demand and popping popcorn.
#imagine Watching a movie with Justin. His hands move their way down your body. He nibbles your ear before kissing you passionately.
— #imagine Tweets (@BiebsAssassin) November 20, 2012
Actually, you don’t even need to imagine it. It’s all right here.
You might not have caught The Soul Train Awards on Centric last night. In a flurry of Sunday night programming (plus Liz & Dick Lifetime!) it would’ve been easy to skip the award show dedicated to awarding the best in hip-hop and R&B. If you did choose another route, here’s your tl;dw (That’s “too long, didn’t watch.”) rundown: Cedric the Entertainer hosted, Anthony Hamilton did “Lovely Day”, Leah LaBelle did Teena Marie’s “Square Biz”, Fantasia paid tribute to Aretha with “Don’t Play That Song For Me”. There was a New Edition tribute (in which Bobby Brown failed to thank his departed former wife Whitney Houston?), Keyshia Cole performed “Enough of No Love” from her new album Woman to Woman, and X-Factor winner Marcus Canty did Luther Vandross‘ “Never Too Much”. On the hip-hop side, 2 Chainz was there. Naturally.
Perhaps in the strangest moment, Tyrese‘s “Stay” won Song Of The Year, despite being released independently from his album, Open Invitation. It beat out John Legend, Trey Songz, Estelle, Wale, AND Usher–making it a true underdog. Tyrese most likely knew this, stating in his acceptance speech that today’s R&B is “insecure, since everyone is doing house and techno music” (a weird nod to Usher, perhaps?) But tonight, he continued, “Real R&B is winning”.
This new video for Lil Wayne‘s Dedication 4 single “No Worries” returns the YMCMB boss to Vegas, but not for the same sugar fueled and neon lit adventure that “Lollipop” was. Rather, it finds Wayne gone gonzo as journalist Hunter S. Thompson in a tribute to his counterculture classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The loopy Colin Tilley-directed clip features a worry-free Wayne flying down the strip in a convertible, hallucinating a bat attack and wobbling through a casino. This act might have been more convincing back in Wayne’s weed and syrup addled Da Drought 3 heydays, but having traded his skate board and slime boots for aviator glasses and bucket hat, he looks plenty enough the part to assure that this video is a real trip — even if you aren’t on drugs yourself!
Where’s that “Umbrella” when you need it? Miraculously still on her feet after her whirlwind 777 Tour, Rihanna turned up on The X-Factor UK for a rather damp performance. Things began simple, the stage dark save for a glowing Rihanna in a curve hugging black gown and it seemed like she was going to play it straight and just sing. But then she made it rain, and not metaphorically, like she does in Unapologetic‘s dark strip club anthem “Pour It Up” — we’re talking literal raindrops falling from somewhere high above the X-Factor stage that left her dripping wet. She’s not the kind of girl that let’s a little mess slow her down though, and she belted her chart topper straight through to the end before breaking to wring her hair out.
Angel Haze doesn’t usually celebrate Thanksgiving — “My family does not celebrate Thanksgiving. No Way. They’re total not down for that” — but a year of incredible output and ascendence, she’s “kind of setting up new traditions for myself,” she tells The Fader. It’s been a little more than a year since we first downloaded her impressive mixtape King, and since then we too have set up new traditions for ourselves in terms of what rap can be and should do. Read more…
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard and seen that Rihanna’s 777 Tour this past week was full of mayhem, lip synching and naked Australians. We wish we could say that Rih’s last show in New York City on Tuesday was “The best! Amazing! Even Jay-Z came out!” but we can’t, okay? So instead of being Negative Nancy — it is the holidays, after all – we thought we would take a look back at the highlights from those seven shows we saw in seven days in seven different countries.
It’s been a big week for R. Kelly and me. Well, maybe just me. It just so happened that this year’s Thanksgiving fell on the same week I attended Kells’ “Trapped in the Closet” premiere–and a chance question submission got him to tell me he loved me. Then the night before Thanksgiving I pushed my bus reservation back a day to attend the Single Ladies tour at Madison Square Garden. A Thanksgiving miracle, you could say. (Proving that miracles aren’t just for Christmas, especially if you’re a Jew.) I was again closer to Kells than ever before, and the man didn’t let down, putting on one hell of a show. Can you imagine him performing “Real Talk” live? I now can. I was so floored, in fact, that I proceeded to miss my early bus home the next morning. And while I’m also thankful that my hungry family waited to carve the turkey while I sat in traffic on a later bus, I can’t say it was all worth it. (Please don’t tell them that.)
You see, for quite a while now, R. Kelly has managed to effectively combine everything I love about pop: music, theatrics, humor and camp. Kells’ overt sexuality mixed with his ability to churn out catchy hooks while also having an absurdest sense of humor about the entire thing? That’s rare. He’s able to produce emotion (“I Believe I Can Fly”, “I Wish”, “Relief”), awe (“Exit”, “When A Woman Loves”, “The World’s Greatest”), dance (“Step In The Name Of Love”, “Fiesta”, “Ignition Remix”), and laughs (“Sex In The Kitchen”, “Sex Weed”, “Sex Planet”) across his lengthy career span. And he’s not even finished: Let’s not even get into Trapped in the Closet. Because if we did, I would spend eons of words describing how Kells’ hip-hop Telenovela-meets-musical-meets-farce breaks new ground with every chapter R. releases. (Meanwhile, there are 85 apparently to come and a possible musical adaptation. Amen.)
Surreal, that all my greatest Kells moments would happen to land on Thanksgiving week. I guess, this year, that signals that I’ve found something to be thankful for. I mean, aside from the love of family and friends along with the fortune to have a platform on which to “Share My Love” (get it?) for Kells. That too.
[Photos via Lindsey Weber]
I often find myself feeling grateful for the little things that make me pause to smile. These days, those things aren’t always as clichéd as rainbows and finding expected loose change in coat pockets. It’s also within the stuff we come across every day. That’s right: social media. Rappers happen to be more active on social media platforms than ever before, and I’m not just talking about vain Instagram selfies (Hi Rihanna). I’m talking about quirky posts that open the door to reveal something truly genuine or endearingly silly about the artist’s personality.
I’m not even going to tell you who to follow, because this post is about what makes me happy, but the Instagram antics of the following four rappers are notorious for making me giggle in public.
Jay Electronica (@jayelectronica)
When he’s not sharing images of his LDN surroundings, dog, or super-wealthy lover Kate Rothschild, Jay Elec is likely to tout his spiritual acumen for his 47,000 followers. Be still my esoteric heart. The best part of these non-album related posts? They always generate hundreds of “but where’s your record?” comments. True love.
Thanksgiving is the one time of the year no one will judge you for your gluttony. Quality time with family is always joyous, but let’s keep it real: It’s the food that makes this holiday a common favorite. Nas is not as fond of the holiday as me,”They call it Thanksgiving, I call your holiday hell-day ’cause I’m from poverty, neglected by the wealthy,” he rapped on “Poison,” but that doesn’t keep me for being thankful for him creating a masterpiece this year. Read more…