The first verse of Lupe Fiasco’s “Bitch Bad” begins with a little boy listening to his mother rap along to lyrics where she refers to herself as a “bad bitch.” Lupe’s latest single and its accompanying video examines the dualities surrounding the word “bitch”; namely, it’s a word that can be viewed by some as damaging to women, yet also a word that is held up by some as a feminine ideal. In the video the video vixen has accepted the title of “bitch” as being something to be proud of, and an ideal that she attempts to live up to by rocking a pink wig, short shorts and removable breast enhancements. Little boys pack the theater seats to watch the faux gangster with his rolled blunt underneath a blue bandana accompanied by a gun to give credence to his street cred. The kids idolize him because he has a “bad bitch.” Only they are too adolescent to understand the way the entertainment they’re exposed to as kids may eventually shape their realities. Read more…
Adam Lambert is no reggae artist, but that didn’t keep him from doing justice to “Is This Love” by the legendary Bob Marley. Lambert stopped by Sydney, Australia’s Top 40 Live Lounge to promote his sophomore album Trespassing. On the bill was his rendition of “Is This Love” was enough to make it his own while still keeping the sound of the original in tact. This isn’t a song you’d expect a pop-rocker to cover, but Marley’s long list of classic songs inspire many. We also couldn’t help but notice the new blonde ‘do Lambert was sporting, which is quite the contrast from the dark hair he had on the set of Pretty Little Liars. Can his version hold a candle to the 1978 classic? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section. Read more…
It’s T-minus two days until the U.S. premiere of Hard Rock Calling 2012 blasts off on Palladia and VH1! Sure that’s pretty soon, but we can’t wait to share the a few of the highlights from the multi-day music festival that rocked so hard that the cops showed up! So direct from us to you, here are some performance sneak peeks to show you what all the fuss is about, and get you even more pumped to see the full two hour feature this Saturday at 9 PM.
First off, we’ve got Iggy Pop, making you forget his age (and that insurance commercial) by tearing into his iconic track, “I Want To Be Your Dog.” The performance was so good, fellow rock legends Jimmy Page and Robert Plant came out to watch! If it’s good enough for those guys, it’s good enough for us. Backed by his old band the Stooges, the inventor of the stage dive does not disappoint.
Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave veteran Tom Morello took to the stage as his alter-ego the Nightwatchman, serving up some searing protest music that touched on everything from the financial crisis to striking firemen. This guy has a lot to say. His set at HRC happened to coincide with what would have been Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday, so Tom payed his respects by doing a spine-tingling cover of the late singer’s “Ease My Revolutionary Mind.” With his shout outs to the Occupy movement and other current events, Tom made the song more relevant than ever.
We don’t care who you are, for our money they best guitar work of the entire festival was done by former Creedence Clearwater Revival front-man John Fogerty. The gravel-voiced legend shredded better than dudes half his age, and we’re still kind of amazed his strings didn’t melt. This clip of John jamming on “Old Man Down The Road” gives you just a little taste. Tune in on Saturday at 9 PM for more of everybody you’ve just seen and more, including Lady Antebellum, Sound Garden, Paul Simon, Christina Perri and of course Bruce Springsteen’s historic duet with Paul McCartney!
[Photo: Getty Images]
Boobs are flying everywhere! In Lady Gaga‘s latest NSFW “Monstervision” video Lady Gaga talks to her beloved monsters, fresh faced with wild blonde hair before sharing three personal home videos. Gaga’s maternal side made our uteri do a flip as she holds her godson Zachary (Elton John‘s son). Once she kissed his chubby cheeks, we melted. Following her glowing god-mommy moment Gaga showed a clip of herself dancing to “Shiza” on Christmas. As she dances/jumps around the living room she lifts her sweater exposing her bare breasts…over and over and over. Not that anyone is complaining. Her sister, who is recording the video, snickers at the silliness of it all. In a flash mom joins her daughter to dance along, handing Gaga a Christmas tree lamp to use as a microphone. Could this mother and daughter moment be more adorable? Read more…
Grimes, who you may have caught last week on Jimmy Fallon, has got a new video and it’s weird but totally awesome and beautiful, too. The self-directed “Genesis” clip first lands the Canadian synth-pop star in the twilight-y desert, her hair deadlocked and dancing in the headlights of an Escalade SUV. From there, things only get stranger, as an army of heroines played mostly by Grimes/women who look like Grimes show up to play: she swinging swords on the beach, wearing scant but shiny body armor in the suburbs, swinging sparklers on a roof, and — notably! — hanging out with a giant yellow python that looks an awful lot like Britney Spears “Slave 4 U” co-star, Banana (apparently!). Probably it’s just a snake that looks like Britney’s play thing, but when Grimes first pulls the snake out, and she’s in the back of a limo wearing pigtails and a sexy/sweet sailor’s uniform (a la Brit’s “Hit Me Look”), it’s hard not to wonder if she’s got some sort of point to make about pop stars then and now. Because she may be left-of-center, and she sure is not from the Mickey Mouse Club mold that Britney grew, but she’s a burgeoning pop star all her own.
The world still buzzing about her Olympic showings, last night You Oughta Know artist Emeli Sandé stopped in to lift the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno with a performance of her triumphant new single, “Wonder.” The stage was set with bubbles — maybe because of that “we ain’t falling under” line? — and she was joined by a full band and a snapping lineup of backup singers. Like this, the song feels almost like gospel, soaring and inspirational. “This song is for you, and you are full of wonder,” she insists at the songs climax, her hands held as a “W” over her head, and you really believe her. If only every night ended and each morning began with a performance like this, the world could probably be a better place.
Sandé takes the stage in the above video around 42 minutes — watch, feel the wonder!
It’s been a feet on the ground, head in the sky sort of summer for The Lumineers. And as the summer winds down and their ascent continues on and up, we have another treat to share from their You Oughta Know Live session. After stunning us with their own “Stubborn Love,” “Slow It Down” and, of course, “Ho Hey!,” the rising American folk rock trio looked back to 1983 with a crunchy-Americana cover of the Talking Heads‘ funky “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody).” Stripped down, with Wesley Schultz alone strumming at his guitar for almost two minutes before the drums kick in and Neyla‘s cello begins to bellow, their rendering is less playful but goes in extra on the yearning and the “And You’ll love me till my heart stops, love me till I’m dead”‘s.
“Naive Melody” is one of the few love songs that David Byrne ever wrote, and as they cover it, it could fall comfortably into their mix of mostly loving songs. So, cover up your blanks spot, hit us on the head — we are happy to know the The Lumineers, and even more so that they can do this so well!
Check out The Lumineer’s full You Oughta Know Live session here!
Like, ever? Taylor Swift has ranked her first ever No. 1 single, and she broke more than just hearts climbing to the top: in it’s first week out, “Never Ever” moved 623,000 digital downloads, just missing Flo Rida’s all-around high mark (“Right Round,” sold 636,000), but enough to take the record for for first week sales by a female artist. And with an album, a VMA performance, a VH1 Storytellers, and a crisp New England fall with the Kennedy’s still to look forward to? Taylor is set to have the best year ever ever. “I can’t stop smiling,” she tweeted with thanks.
It’s almost hard to believe that this is Taylor’s first number one on the Hot 100. “You Belong With Me” and “Today Was A Fairytale” came close, both topping out at No. 2; and “Mine” and her breakout “Love Story” both reached No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. But Grammys, CMA Awards, sold out tours, shiny boyfriends and quadruple-platinum albums already, she’s still got a long ways to go before she catches up to Mariah Carey and her 18 No. 1 singles. Will Red‘s 16 songs include another 10 hits, so that she might at least match Rihanna’s 11? This year seems so far to be Swift’s fairy tale — we’re just living it — so maybe? We do hope.
Taylor Swift Scores First Hot 100 No. 1 [Billboard]
2 Chainz‘s rap game takeover has been a long time coming. The Georgia rapper that had us all screaming, “2 Chaaaaainnnnz” was a coveted feature artist in the way Nicki Minaj was in 2009. Those days are long gone and the wait was certainly worth it. His debut album Based on a T.R.U. Story topped the charts for the No.1 spot on the Billboard 200. According to Nielsen SoundScan the album sold 147,000 copies. For a little perspective: that’s almost 20,000 more units sold than pop star Chris Brown‘s Fortune. Talk about coming out the gate swinging. Read more…
VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown‘s Jim Shearer bumped into Olympic snowboarder Shaun White on the top of VH1′s Times Square headquarters yesterday post his Big Morning Buzz Live interview. Sport talk out of the way, Shearer and White got down to music business, imagining up a bill for the festival of White’s dreams. “The cool people are dead,” White said, before inviting his friends The Black Keys and a reunited White Stripes. And as for hitting the stage himself, he says, “I would just hit one note. I would let it ring, and I’d walk away.” We would show up for that. Would you? Read more…