Making hits is no easy thing, not even for a seasoned star like Alicia Keys herself. It had been several years since her last album and she’s a new mother and a busy business woman, too, so for this next round, she figured she would take things slow: “An easy vibe, not to put too much pressure on it,” she tells the New York Times. Before getting to work each day on The Element of Freedom, which is out November 27th, she would take time to listen to other people’s music — Nina Simone and Frank Ocean (!) — and work out her thoughts. You can almost hear this patience in the album’s new single, “Girl on Fire,” a fully realized and empowering anthem replete with crashing drums and a soaring chorus.
Keys brought the Times into the studio to show them — very, very excitedly! — her writing process, from the moment of inspiration to the post-release regrets. Want to write a song like “Girl on Fire”? Here’s what you need to do: Read more…
Turns out that those rumors of a Nicki Minaj, reality star, that have been spinning all week are true, sort of. E! has confirmed that they’ve tapped the Queen Barbie, but or a day-in, day-out Kardashian style reality series we had hoped for, but instead for a trilogy of specials that will run on the network beginning in November. The announcement makes a point of the fact that the specials will include never-before-seen footage of the rapper in her personal and professional life, and though we can’t be mad about more time with Nicki, we have to wonder how juicy this “never-before-seen” footage could possibly be. Read more…
Alanis Morissette filled in for Green Day on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, after they were forced to cancel their scheduled appearance after the weekend’s incidents. Although she could have used the time to do something off of her new album Havoc And Bright Lights, Morrissette opted instead to pay tribute to the great pop-punk band by performing an intriguing cover of Green Day’s 1994 classic, “Basket Case,” and by dedicating it to the currently struggling Billie Joe Armstrong.
Only a woman who has boasted about wearing her sweater backwards and inside out, as Morissette does in “All I Really Want,” can turn an agitated pop punk classic case into a piano and guitar ballad and make it sound so natural. Like Green Day in angst but not much more, she sang “I am one of those melodramatic fools/ neurotic to the bone, no doubt about it” like the line was written for her. So odd as the job may have been, she made for a great Green Day. And then when she was done, she very sweetly said “We love you Billie Joe.” Indeed.
Though she’s been spotted all around the world — London, Paris, Milan — recently, but Azealia Banks is back and repping her hometown of New York in the new Clarence Fuller-directed video for “Luxury,” a sleek house track off of her Fantasea mixtape. The video finds her dancing on a rooftop with the Empire State Building behind her and voguing in the extra-gritty for the black-and-white streets of Chinatown, all the while looking very ninities chic like she wont be in a cropped turtleneck and suspenders. The whole affair dives deep into Crystal Waters‘ territory, Banks’ “Your l-l-l-love, my l-u-x-u-r-aye’s” mirroring Waters’s “La di da’s,” and all being just one homeless mime short of the “Gypsy Woman” video. Read more…
Quick question. Would you rather be cuddled up with someone you enjoy spending time with all winter, or lonely and depressed? There’s certainly nothing wrong with flying solo, but if “lacking intimacy” doesn’t sound like your ideal set of circumstances from now through February, listen up! The primary goal during Cuffing Season is to find yourself a consistent relationship (or, at the bare minimum, a steady hookup partner) to last you through the winter months when, let’s face it, you’re more than likely gonna be stuck indoors most nights (word to snow boots, wind chill factors, and ice-glazed sidewalks).
Luckily, songstress Vivian Green recently sat down with VH1 Tuner, and just because she prefers to let her romantic life pan out organically doesn’t mean Viv was at a loss for words when we asked her to address her fans with some survival tips for entering the daunting Cuffing Season arena. In the clip above, the “Anything Out There” vocalist delivers a PSA of sorts, and her suggestions for approaching the Game of Cuffs are definitely useful to all.
Do you ever brush your teeth with a bottle of Jack? Have you ever attended a party where James Van Der Beek turned into a unicorn? Would any of your friends ever describe your behavior as being like a lovesick crackhead? We’re guessing you answered “No” to all of the above, which can only mean one thing — you probably didn’t find yourself relating to many of the songs on Ke$ha‘s debut album, Animal (or its glittery follow-up, Cannibal.) Recognizing that she was suffering from what politicians often describe as a “lack of relatability,” it seems as if the Princess of GlitterVomPop has finally written a song on her new album that even the most boring of us can identify with — sex with ghosts!
Of course, we kid. No one listens to Ke$ha because they think, “Wow, that sounds exactly like the kind of autobiographical music I’d write if I decided to lay down an album.” We listen to and love Ke$ha for escapist reasons, because she’s a wild child who celebrates the “party ’til you puke” lifestyle that most of us secretly wish we had (on those weekends when we’re NOT in Vegas, we mean). So, it makes perfect sense that Ke$ha would pen a song, “Supernatural,” about getting freaky with spirits from another plane of being. She told Ryan Seacrest yesterday that the song from her upcoming album is based on “a couple of (sexual) experiences with the supernatural. I don’t know his name! He was a ghost! I’m very open to it.” Of course you’re open to sex with ghosts, Ke$ha! That’s what makes you you, and not us. Never change!
In a recent interview, Lil Wayne admitted that he is “just into whatever works for me. I think that’s just age.” You might say that Wayne has found inspiration in his new older age, because the baggy tees and tight white tank tops he once favored gave way to designer hoodies and rock star-chic Chuck Taylor sneakers, all of which has since made way for a closets worth of animal printed jeggings, big fur hats, Ugg boots in colors we couldn’t have even dreamed of. And have we mentioned Trukfit? These days Weezy wears a lot of his own skate wear line. Today is Lil Wayne’s 30th birthday, and though still young, he’s a certain veteran in the game. He was basically just a kid when he first broke with the Hot Boys, he’s spent the past fifteen years raising the bar for rappers with his tongue-twisted verses and pushing the boundaries of fashion with his bold sartorial choices. And so, to celebrate this day, we’re taking a stroll back through his looks over the year. To many more, Wayne!
We’ve been struck by a bad case of Underwood fever over here at VH1, with her Behind The Music set to air this Sunday and her Unplugged ready to go live the week following, and the only thing that can fix us is this cool cover Carrie did of Coldplay‘s “Fix You.” Carrie and her crew learned the song while in London so that they could “pay tribute,” she said, becasue “they were so nice to welcome us there, and they have so much talent right there.” Carrie’s usual country twanging is as sonically distant to Coldplay’s arena rock balladry as Oklahoma is to London, but here she has managed to turn the song so that it sounds straight from her wheelhouse. Buoyed by strings and with her ever strong vocals promising to “guide us home and ignite our bones” left us chilled.
Rapper turned businessman 50 Cent played his best public servant last night when he warned his Twitter followers that, “Masturbation is a sin you stop right now fool!!! lol God is watching you.” Then, 50 being the man of many schemes that he is, came his easy-peasy way to quit said urges. Four steps, that’s all it takes to be free!