Now that the Forbes highest earners in hip-hop list is out we have one wish: that we’d invented Beats By Dre. Topping the list as this year’s Hip-Hop Cash King, Dr. Dre raked in $110 million largely due to his popular $100 and up headphones. Dre made $100 million pre-tax money after HTC paid $300 million for a 51% stake in the company last year. Being the businessman that he is, Dre and his partners bought back the 51% stake HTC purchased. With the kind of revenue Beats By Dre is bringing in we get why Detox seems like the album that will never be. Read more…
“I never was much of a romantic,” sang Kanye West on “Runaway,” the centerpiece track on his epic 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Well nonsense, we say! You’re plenty romantic, Yeezy. And here are our favorite love-lorn lyrics from all through your career to prove it. Whether it was inspired by current flame Kim Kardashian, or past lady-friends like Amber Rose or Selita Ebanks, Kanye is a modern poet spinning rhymes that will melt any woman’s heart. Just today he dropped the track “Clique,” in which he raps about Kim’s career-launching sex-tape with Ray-J. And that’s just the start of his many romantic maneuvers in song. Check out the list below and see what we mean!
10. “If we die in each others’ arms/Still get laid in the afterlife”
– “Lost In The World” on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
Romance Factor: Here Kanye takes a very practical (and sexy) look at the concept of eternity.
9. “I’m Yeezy, she said, ‘Hi, I’m Maria’/No, you an angel/You wave ‘Hi’ to Aaliyah”
-“Erase Me” on Kid Kudi’s Man On The Moon 2: The Legend Of Mr. Rager (2010)
Romance Factor: Yeezy once again plays on the more practical side of the afterlife, plus gets a sweet shout-out to the late R&B singer.
8. “Feeling like Katrina with no FEMA/Like Martin with no Gina”
-“Flashing Lights” on Graduation (2007)
Romance Factor: It’s not good enough to compare missing your ladylove to a natural disaster/government SNAFU. You have to following it up with a simile referencing the 90s sitcom Martin to really tug at the heartstrings.
7. “Take your diamonds and throw ‘em up like you’re bulimic”
-“Diamonds From Sierra Leone” on Late Registration (2005)
Romance Factor: With one line, Kanye shows that he knows how to treat his woman right, and at the same time so very very wrong.
The Billboard Top 200 this week is topped by Christian rap-rock act TobyMac, formerly of DC Talk. Though some have pulled close — Christian acts Casting Crowns and David Crowder Band notching No. 2 spots with Come to the Well and Give Us Rest, respectively — TobyMac’s sixth studio set Eye On It is the first Christian album to make the summit since LeAnn Rimes‘ 1997 You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs, and only the third Christian ever to hit No. 1 (Bob Carlisle‘s dadtastic Butterfly Kisses making three). Eye On It moved 69,000 copies this week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, more than 10,000 units more than unsuspecting runner-ups Slaughterhouse sold. 27 percent of those sales came from Christian retailers and bookstores, though TobyMac pulled the same chart-topping trick on iTunes, suggesting that he also holds a broader audience. Read more…
It’s a sad love story in Ellie Goulding‘s “Anything Could Happen.” Something tragic has left a pink haired Ellie on a rocky beach searching to piece back the broken fragments of whatever has happened to her. Filled with sadness, a teary eyed Ellie sings, “After the war we said we’d fight together.” When her lover appears he’s bloody and bruised, which leads to Ellie’s own nose bleed. As she looks over her deceased lover she reflects back to the accident. The car crash has left both of them injured, but more than the physical injuries the collision is a metaphor for their dying love. Read more…
Love conquers all in the shadowy blue future world of Muse‘s new “Madness” video. The charged clip finds a pretty girl courting a trenchcoated Ed Westwick look alike on the subway platform, where throw-down between turn-style jumping, gas-masked rioters and baton wielding swat police seems to be escalating. Matthew Bellamy, looking a little vampiric in the subway underworld, meanwhile sings over the quivering and almost paranoid bass line, “I need to know if this is real love, or is it just madness keeping us afloat.” And somehow, the couple’s lurid love protects them from the chaos that has otherwise infected the world around them. Aww.
It’s been three years since The Element of Freedom, and with the next on the burner, set for release November 27th, Alicia Keys is turning up the heat. “New Day,” the first single off of Girl On Fire, was a banging and inspiring thing. And now we get the title track, which is actually going to be a three song suite. As such, Keys dropped the suites first two segments yesterday: the chilled out “Girl on Fire (Blue Light)” mix and the Nicki Minaj assisted “Girl on Fire (Inferno)” remix. Still not about actually about Katniss Everdeen, “Girl on Fire” is instead a hot ode to females strong and mighty. “She got her head in the clouds and she’s not backing down,” goes the anthem, “This girl is on fire.”
The “Inferno” version features a booming, mid-tempo drum beat derived from rocker Billy Squire’s 1980 breakbeat classic “The Big Beat,” and two rapped Nicki verses. Theatrics turned down and focus turned up, Nicki opens the track with a meditation on Marilyn Monroe (“Spirit of Marilyn callin’ me, audibly/ Ballin’ she/ Said that she would never leave/ Continue to torture me”) and a Gabby Douglas name check (“But I got ‘em aggy, cause I win the gold like Gabby”). Keys, meanwhile, does her usual singing thing, sounding strong as ever when she lets the “this girl is on fire” refrain soar.
The countdown clock is ticking, and the MTV Video Music Awards bill of performers is still growing. We already knew that Rihanna would be there to perform, but good word now has it that she’ll be joined by her cocky collaborator and VMA nominee A$AP Rocky for the show’s opening act. What’s more, hip-hop heavyweights Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, and YMCMB leading lady Nicki Minaj in the company of a secret guest — anybody seen Mitt’s schedule for the night? — have also been added to the lineup, which already includes previously announced performances from One Direction, Frank Ocean, Green Day, and VH1 Storytellers trio Taylor Swift, P!nk and Alicia Keys.
And, best news of all: the wait just got shorter yet. MTV has moved the Video Music Awards start time up one hour so as to avoid running up against President Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, and causing conflict for those equally engaged with pop as with politic. The show will now run from 8 PM to 10 PM, at which point you can switch over to your news channel of choice to watch Obama. Maybe you can have it all.
It’s the final round of Bracket Madness and we are only one step away from crowning the Greatest Artist of the 00s! Britney Spears rocked Round 2 scoring a total of 20,396 votes while *NYSNC received a low score of 4,466 votes. Sorry JT, you had nothing on Brit this round. Facing Britney in the final round is rock group Linkin Park who barely made the cut over Eminem, racking up only 107 more votes than the rapper. So close. So who’s it gonna be? The Princess of Pop or the ultimate genre bending rock-rap group?
We had to recruit Evan Seinfeld (Attika7) for one of the toughest TMS Top 5 lists we’ve have ever done on the show: Best Screams on a song. There are so many shrieks and shrills out there in the music world, including the ones we can never forget, like the haunting scream in “Child In Time” by Deep Purple and “Angel of Death” by Slayer (Side note: This one still scares Jim Florentine to this day.) We could easily debate Top 5 Rob Halford Screams, not to mention those of Sebastian Bach, but then we remembered it’s called the TMS Top 5, not Top 100 – So, here’s our top 5:
Surprise! Today is Beyoncé’s 31st birthday, and to celebrate the occasion her loved ones snuck into the BeyHive and left it graffitied with the cutest, handwritten and heartfelt Bey-day messages. Included amongst the sneaky well-wishers were family members, team members, former Destiny’s Child members and famous friends, whose wishes include sweet recollections of the birthday girl as “one of the greatest gifts in my life” (from Mom Knowles) to a friendly “HEY” (from Pastor Rudy and Pastor Juanita) to the more formal but no less lovely “We love you so very much” (Gwenyth Paltrow-Chris Martin clan — young Apple and young Moses included!).
Of all the messages, our favorites are the ones that include inside jokes, like her mother-in-law Mama Carter‘s “You came into my life a sweet southern girl. (LOL),” Michelle Williams‘ post-scripted “Me and you will never part! Ma Te Ta Ta!!” and — most inexplicably — the “‘That’s a lot of paper!'” scribbled next to Gwyneth’s note. There’s a lot of stories to be untangled from these messages, if only we knew what Mama Carter thinks is so funny. Clearly, though, Beyoncé is well loved and admired.
What would you write on Bey’s birthday card, if given the chance? Read more…