RIHANNA’S “MAN DOWN” VIDEO COST AN ESTIMATED $78,000 TO PRODUCE AND $1 MILLION TO PROMOTE
And that’s pretty much par for the course for a major-label pop single. NPR‘s Planet Money team investigated the economics of today’s pop market in a story for All Things Considered today, using “Man Down” as their example. The $78,000 breaks down in a pretty straightforward manner. The $1 million is a little fuzzier, possibly due to anecdotes like this one: “Paul Porter, who co-founded the media watchdog group Industry Ears, says…shortly after he started working as a programmer for BET about 10 years ago, he received $40,000.00 in hundred-dollar bills in a Fed-Ex envelope.” [Planet Money/NPR]
Contrary to reports earlier today that speculated that Watch The Throne, Kanye West and Jay-Z‘s highly anticipated new collaborative album, would be released on July 4, VH1 can exclusively confirm that the record will NOT be dropping on our nation’s birthday. We spoke to sources close to Jay-Z‘s management team earlier today who have direct knowledge of the album’s release plans, and they confirmed that the rumored July 4th release date is “not happening.” Sorry to ruin your holiday, folks!
The annual Gathering of the Juggalos is set to go down from August 11-14 in Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, as we learned earlier this month when a 27-minute long informercial (!!!) was posted to YouTube by the Insane Clown Posse. It stands in stark contrast to some of the more mainstream music festivals (like, say, Coachella or Bonnaroo) in both its refusal to embrace corporate advertising dollars and the way it caters almost exclusively to the fringe culture of Juggalos, a mini-society of cultural outliers who share a common love of horrorcore music, face paint, and recreational drugs.
The Juggalos are a tight-knit group who don’t always warm to people they view as inauthentic; at last year’s festival, both Tila Tequila and Method Man were attacked by Juggalos during their performances by inebriated fans. That’s not to say that everyone who performs at the Gathering of the Juggalos gets pelted with urine, though: For example, Tom Green and Gallagher were both treated like royalty!
All of which is a lengthy lead-up to the following news. Adam Graham of the Detroit News reports that Charlie Sheen has signed a contract to appear at this year’s Gathering of the Juggalos. That’s right, the #WINNING warlock (who hasn’t really been #WINNING too much of late) will be the “guest host” for one of the nights of the festival. When asked if Sheen would be embraced by the community of Juggalos, Violent J replied, “To the best of my knowledge, when somebody’s being picked on, when somebody’s being (messed) with, when somebody’s got mainstream America pointing their finger at them, that’s when they do best in the Juggalo world. When they’re an underdog, so to speak, that’s when they shine.”
Some hip-hop heads like to talk about the “four pillars” of hip hop, as defined by Afrika Bambaataa: rapping, DJing, breakdancing, and graffiti painting, as an all-encompassing view of hip-hop as a culture (and sometimes, a nostalgic lament for what’s been lost). But for a kid nearly three thousand miles away from hip-hop’s South Bronx birthplace, like, say, Ice Cube in South Central Los Angeles, the pillars were signifiers for those seeking information about the nascent musical style. In this exclusive sneak peek of Behind the Music: Ice Cube, which premieres Wednesday, July 6 at 10PM ET/PT, Ice Cube talks about being a curious kid in those days, after first hearing “Rapper’s Delight” and becoming obsessed with rap: “I used to be in the TV Guide, looking for anything that had anything to do with graffiti, breakdancing, rapping, scratching.”
Speculation about Watch the Throne, the hotly anticipated full-length collaboration between Jay-Z and Kanye West, has reached a fever pitch as the holiday weekend approaching, with a combination of non-denials and excitement adding fuel to the rumor that the album will be released on Monday, July 4.
When The Source first reported on June 9 that the album was due out on Independence Day, the announcement seemed no more official than the March 1 date that was allegedly announced by Def Jam after Kanye misspoke on New Year’s Eve and said the album would be out in January (he meant Lex Luger-produced lead single “H.A.M.”). Sure, a purported tracklist had surfaced two days earlier, but there wasn’t anything even supporting the claim until Tuesday, when AllHipHop claimed that a different source had also confirmed the date, adding that the initial release will likely be digital-only, to prevent leaks.
Yesterday, when CyHi Da Prynce appeared on MTV’s RapFix Live, Sway pressed him to speak on the July 4 release date, and while CyHi claimed not to know, his “I can’t say” grin/grimace was confirmation enough for some:
In July of 2009, a video with the innocent title “JK Wedding Entrance Dance” was posted to YouTube. The video showed an exuberant wedding party shimmying down the aisle before that day’s ceremony to the strains of Chris Brown‘s “Forever,” and quickly hit the viral jackpot. The video was viewed over 67 million times, and was even replicated in the “Niagara” episode of NBC’s The Office, which centered around the largely depressing wedding ceremony between Jim and Pam. Ever since then, scads of newlyweds have been trying to achieve that same kind of viral buzz with wacky first dance choices (with varying degrees of success). Until now, it seems.
According to “research” conducted by the British jewelry chain H. Samuel, some newlyweds of late have been eschewing both traditionally romantic and viral buzz generating first-dance songs in favor of unconventionally ironic choices. The chain speculates that joke selections are more memorable, and lists a number of very odd yet unmistakably British selections, including U2‘s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” Morrissey‘s “You’re the One For Me Fatty,” Roy C‘s “Shotgun Wedding,” and Joy Division‘s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Even their most popular, traditionally romantic choice is really British: the version of Cole Porter‘s “You Do Something to Me” performed by Paul Weller.
Below we’ve embedded the least appropriate first-dance song we can think of; if you can top it, mention your choice in the comments! Read more…
Javier Colon got a fresh shot at music superstardom when he was announced as the winner of NBC’s The Voice last night. But before he caught his (second) big break, he recorded two albums with Capitol Records, 2003′s Javier and 2006′s Left Of Center. While he was working the promotional circuit in support of his eponymous self-titled album back in ’03, he stopped by our VH1 offices for a lively Unplugged show. We decided to unearth two of the clips from this session, his cover of Bill Withers’ “Use Me” (above) and his very first single as a major label recording artist, “Crazy” (which is below). As you’ll see, even then, his trademark cap was in place.
The season finale of The Voice and the season premiere of Behind the Music (now streaming in full on our site!) stole the thunder of the two bands that performed last night on television, but you wouldn’t know it by watching them. Parachute, a band of University of Virginia graduates whose blend of Something Corporate emo-pop piano balladry and soul-band backup vocals and bass guitar works way better than it has any right to, kept the crowd excited on Jimmy Kimmel Live! with their single?”Something to Believe In.” The track has gained some traction on adult pop radio, even as the band is wearing t-shirts for bands like Snapcase while playing for rooms full of kids on their first headlining club tour. Before the show, lead singer Will Andersontweeted, “My goal on?@jimmykimmel tonight is to always be staring into whatever camera is on. Seriously. Watch for it.” We’d say he was fairly successful.
Meanwhile, on Late Night with David Letterman, Marty Stuart cranked out “Country Boy Rock & Roll,” a barnburner of a single from Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions. Stuart is a country traditionalist, which describes not only his sound but also his look. Did you ever think you’d see hair like this on television in 2011? Read more…
A hearty congratulations are due tonight to Javier Colon, the winner of the first season of NBC’s The Voice. The 34 year-old, who was dropped from his label Capitol Records after releasing two albums under their watch, triumphed over his competitors Dia Frampton, Vicci Martinez, and Beverly McClellan.
We first felt like the Javier wave was about to crest last week after his stirring rendition of Coldplay’s “Fix You,” a performance which also saw him shed his (then trademark) cap for the first time. At the time, we opined that he might have pulled this maneuver a week too soon, but you know what they say about hindsight.
Last night, though, Javier proved himself to be one of this competition’s frontrunners with an engaging performance of his original song, “Stitch By Stitch” (which we have for you below). And tonight, he proved he had nerves of steel when he stood toe-to-toe with Stevie Nicks during a duet of the Fleetwood Mac classic, “Landslide,” never losing confidence despite Stevie’s not-so-subtle direction on how he should inflect his vocals. Judge/coach Adam Levine described it, perhaps with a smidge of hyperbole, as “one of the most beautiful duets I’ve ever heard in my life,” but there is no denying that Javier Colon is having one of the best nights of his life. He’s got a second chance at music superstardom, but only time –and perhaps the ticket sales for this summer’s The Voice multi-city tour– will tell if he’ll end up making Capitol Records regret their decision to let him go.