Kanye West has gotten his hands on Rihanna‘s Unapologetic hit single “Diamonds” and given it a good old ‘Ye shake. The end result is a delirious and delightful remix that includes: shout outs to the Victoria’s Secret models in his bed, Brad Pit and the Illuminati; a Fresh Prince of Bel Air intro interlude; an odd knock at Tay Zonday’s viral hit “Chocolate Rain”; and an enthusiastic endorsement for shower sex (“fresh as f***!”). It’s also timely: “We made it through the hurricane, so celebrate and light the Mary Jane.” He really let it all out for this one, so enjoy. Happy Friday.
We’ve acknowledged that the haters are in full force when it comes to Christina Aguilera‘s Lotus. And they’re doing what haters do. But Xtina’s resilient. And like a lotus, she’s determined to bloom regardless. “Lotus to me is the culmination and definition of the unbreakable flower,” she tells VH1. “No matter what its surroundings or the harshest of weather conditions, it survives and continues to thrive.” Read more…
“I remember when I was making music before the internet, before we had iTunes and things like this,” Kid Rock joked when he sat down with us to talk about his latest album Rebel Soul, which is due out November 19th. Everything except “this stuff,” he said while pointing to his mic.
Heavy as our hearts may be with the news, R.E.M. are still broken-up. They haven’t let their split mean the end, though, and Michael Stipe himself has launched the Collapse Into Now Film Project, divvying up songs from their last album to a group of artists and filmmakers who will create accompanying visuals. Amongst the hand picked group is James Franco, who was given the album’s closer to work with. And boy — tragic starlets, tragically hip photographers, and the ever-congested 405, oh my! — did he deliver.
Here we have “Blue,” a James Franco-directed video that and stars Lindsay Lohan and features the song “Blue,” off R.E.M.’s final album Collapse Into Now. There’s hazy fly-over footage of Los Angeles and sludgy guitars here, Terry Richardson shotting photos of of Miss Lohan in a slinky black tank and Patti Smith singing there — and zeitgeist-y as it may be, the song is very good and the visuals pleasant. And so we let go of the who’s-who’s and how did this happen’s and, lo and behold, turns out it’s a pretty good video! What do you think?
This has been lighting up our dashboards, and for good reason. Miguel stopped by San Francisco’s cozy Different Fur Studios for an intimate and slaying performance of “The Thrill,” for Yours Truly. The Casanova broke down the Kalediscope single with a band as hip looking as him, once again proving himself to be so worthy of the hype. The guitars grind a little harder and the drums sound shattered, highlighting Miguel’s tendency to pull from genres near and far — this time, something more grinding and industrial and rock and roll — to build his particular brand of R&B. And as always Miguel showed up supercharged, bouncing back and forth from the mic and swinging finger-guns when he got to the “shot ‘em up” refrain. It’s all, you might say, quite the thrill.
Last night on The X Factor, Taylor Swift traded the top hat she donned for the MTV European Music Awards last weekend for a fedora; and rather then her go-to as of late, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” she opted to perform Red stand-out “State of Grace.” She stood alone at center stage — looking, we might add, a whole lot like Joni Mitchell, who she is rumored to be playing in an upcoming biopic — for a quiet first verse, while the audience shrieked impatiently. At the first chorus the song blows out into something much bigger, and the lights flashed on behind and she really, really began to sing. There were a few moments where her voice sounded a little shaky, but by the time she got around to explaining that “this is a worthwhile fight” while the lights flickered behind her, we were in full agreement that this just might be her golden age, good and right and real.
“State of Grace” may not be as obviously radio friendly as “Never Ever” or “I Knew You Were Trouble,” but this first live performance of it proved that it’s a sure crowd pleaser. What did you think of Taylor’s Joni Mitchell style? Do you think “State of Grace” could be a single?
Gary Clark Jr. may be the future of blues. His sound stretches widely covering various genres so squeezing him into the compacted box of one genre isn’t fair, but it’s clear blues is in his soul. This month’s YOK artist has been making music for years although he’s fairly new to the mainstream eye. His talent supersedes his young 28 years enough for an invitation to play at the White House. On February 21, GCJ played at the “In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues” alongside legends like B.B.King, Buddy Guy and Mick Jagger. And sharing a joke with the president turned this into a dream gig of a lifetime for the guitar player and singer. Read more…
Despite being her earliest champion and mentor, a prison stint kept Lil Wayne from chipping in on Nicki Minaj‘s 2010 debut Pink Friday. He made up for that absence by contributing two verses to Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, “Sex In The Lounge” and the album’s title track, and now he’s lent her another for The Re-Up. “High School” hit the internet last night, and while it’s not as hard-hitting as, say, “I Get Crazy,” their collaboration from her 2009 Beam Me Up, Scotty mixtape, it’s got a catchy horn and drum driven beat that does well enough to get these two flexing. After their recent bout of four wheeled and fragrance-d distractions, it’s refreshing.
Nicki Minaj is really going to ride this Pink Friday theme until the wheels fall off. Remember that Pink Friday perfume bottle donned with a pink wig and gold Nicki Minaj necklace? How could you forget it. Nicki released the official commercial for her fragrance and it’s a combination of soft, seductive and slightly eery. Read more…