Life Is Good For Nas And Swizz Beatz’s Performance At The ESPY Awards Despite A Boring Crowd

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Life is good was the appropriate theme for last night’s ESPY Awards where accomplished athletes were recognized for their athletic successes. Gearing up for the release of his tenth studio album, Nas was the perfect person to invoke the feeling of living good with a medley of singles from his forthcoming Life Is Good. Like a true class act, dressed in a black tux he performed “Nasty,” “The Don” and was joined by Swizz Beatz for “Summer On Smash.” With DJ Lantern on the 1′s and 2′s accompanied by the live band, it felt like a classic hip-hop moment where the instruments were blaring and the lyrics meant something. Swizzy in a white tux elevated the energy on stage. Despite all of those things the ESPY Awards crowd seemed so…dry. We’ve seen grandmas less bored while watching The Price Is Right. Someone should have whispered to them, “Hey, you’re witnessing greatness.” Read more…

Tuned In: Flesh And Blood Zac Brown Band Perform “The Wind” On Letterman

by (@zaragolden)

We love Beavis & Butthead creator Mike Judge’s animated video for “The Wind,” but it should be known that the Zac Brown Band jam hard with or without the fancy robo-treatment. Last night the Atlanta band dropped by The Late Show With David Letterman in flesh and blood to play the single off of their just released Uncaged. They dressed loosely but the performance was tight and polished, the bright fiddle being a particular highlight. And it left no doubt that, beer guzzling and duck hunting or just hanging out on late night, these guys have got what it takes to bring a place down.

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Last Lap: Gary Oldman Reads Dramatically From R. Kelly’s Soulacousta

by (@zaragolden)

GARY OLDMAN GIVES A DRAMATIC READING OF R. KELLY‘S MEMOIR, SOULACOSTER
Pile all the Oscars over here and the Pulitzers over there, so that we can divvy them out accordingly for this award worthy rendering of an award worthy text. [Gawker]

COURTNEY LOVE, HORRIBLE BOSS: “EVIL” EDITION
The Hole frontwoman’s former assistant has pressed charges, alleging that Love was an “improper and evil” boss. Which actually kind of sounds like a kind of awesome title to hold, don’t you think? [E!]

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Vocal Injuries Strike Again! Florence and the Machine Cancel Two Festival Dates

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Florence Welch is going to need a generous dosage of green tea to go with her two festival date cancellations. Florence and the Machine will no longer be performing in Benicassim in Spain on July 12th and Optimus Alive in Portugal on July 14th because Flo has “sustained a vocal injury” according to her personal twitter. She said of her famously eerie voice that she “felt something snap, it was very frightening..” She later tweeted thanking her fans for their love and support.

We’ve seen what can happen when artists don’t take care of their most prized possession — their vocal cords. We’ve watch Adele fall victim to this again and again, having to cancel tours left and right, although it hasn’t exactly stunted her climb to the top of the charts. John Mayer had to cancel appearances as well and wasn’t able to promote his May 22 release, Born and Raised.

All we’re saying is take all the time you need, Flo, and rest up your perfect pipes! Everyone here at VH1 is wishing you a speedy recovery.

Florence Welch suffers vocal injury, cancels shows [Rolling Stone]

[Photo: Getty Images]

Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange Won’t Be Sold At Target, Def Jam Says Early Release Was ‘Always Part Of The Plan’

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Def Jam Says It Wasll All A Part Of the Plan, Target Refuses To Sell His Album

Frank Ocean is winning! Following the buzz around his sexuality Ocean decided to use his own website to address the rumors once and for all. Days after revealing he’d fell in love with a man at 19, Ocean shocked everyone by releasing the digital version of his debut album Channel Orange a week early. The Internet went bananas quickly making it the No. 1 album on iTunes a couple of hours after its release. While we were busy indulging in the Stevie Wonder-esque voice over eloquent songwriting in Channel Orange, speculations were made regarding if Ocean’s early release was due to the massive support he received in opening up about his sexuality. ‘Was it a publicity stunt?’ was a common question tossed around like rice thrown at weddings. According to EW.com, Def Jam claims the early release was “all part of Channel Orange‘s unusual marketing strategy.” A marketing strategy that worked, might we add. Read more…

Aerosmith Do It Again In “Legendary Child”

by (@zaragolden)

“This is the story of America’s greatest rock band,” thus introduces the narrator in the opening of the video for “Legendary Child,” the first single from Aerosmith‘s upcoming Music From Another Dimension. The story is of drug addiction, shady managers and bad sushi overcome. And it’s a story best told by girls on roller skates because, so says the narrator, “How f****ing cool is that?”

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Chris Brown’s Winning A “Fortune” With No. 1 Album

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Chris Brown Fortune No. 1

From F.A.M.E. to Fortune, Chris Brown lands his second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 charts with Fortune. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Fortune has already sold 134,000 copies. Popular songs like lead single “Turn Up the Music,” which reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “Till I Die” encompassed the diversity of dance, pop, R&B and hip-hop that Breezy’s fans expect. Two No. 1 albums in two years is a success worth celebrating, especially considering both his past missteps and current drama with Drake, but could there be a decreased interest in the pop star? Comparatively 2011′s F.A.M.E. dropped atop the list with 270,000 units sold, which is more than double the sales of Fortune. Read more…

Britney Spears Gets Mean In New The X Factor Promo

by (@zaragolden)

Based on this new promo, The X Factor will not be all fun and games and Vanilla Ice for Britney Spears. This first footage of Britney at the judges’ table finds Britney shooting down contestants, one after another after another. “Very predictable,” she tells one. “Bad to the bone,” the next. And then, one hand in the air, she snarls devastatingly, “You can’t destroy that song, sweetie.” Look out, Simon Cowell! Brit, apparently, has got a prerogative. Read more…

How Old Is Lil’ Kim, Exactly?

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In honor of Lil’ Kim’s birthday today, VH1 took a look back at 37 iconic fashion moments throughout her career. However, after quadruple checking various sources to verify her age, we had a minor heart attack when our research did not yield a conclusive result.

Wikipedia —not the most reliable of sources, we know!— pegged Kimberly Denise Jones birth year as 1975, which means she’d be 37 today. However, her IMDB bio states she was born in 1974, putting her at 38-years-old. Her bios on Billboard, TV Guide, Yahoo Movies and Starpulse corroborate Wikipedia’s 1975 birth. On the other hand, AOL Music’s bio page for the BK rapper is in line with IMDB’s 1974. In 2005, MSNBC wrote, “Lil’ Kim, who turns 30 next week…” which would again make this a happy 37th birthday. And People.com in 2003 referred to her as a then 28-year-old making her 37 today. All of this begs the question: How old is the Queen Bee really? Read more…

Music Seen: Gym Class Heroes Warm Up, Goof Off, and Get Unplugged

by (@zaragolden)

Gym Class Heroes VH1 Unplugged

Performing in front of glowing climbing nets, the Gym Class Heroes looked and sounded great at their VH1 Unplugged taping here in New York City a few weeks back. Stripped down to acoustic guitars and a brush sticks, they got us going with a set that included new favorites like “The Fighter,” old favorites like “Clothes Off,” and special guests like the beautiful Neon Hitch and Fall Out Boy‘s Patrick Stump (with whom we spoke to exclusively before the show). The Heroes, Stump and Hitch go way back, and so in addition to the unplugging, there was also lots of catching up and goofing off. Our photographer Brendan Tobin was there to catch all. The warm up, the big show, the cool down — check his pictures out below!

VH1 Unplugged: Gym Class Heroes will make its online premiere tomorrow, Thursday, July 12, at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. You’ll be able to catch it on VH1 that night at 12 a.m. ET/PT.

Gym Class Heroes VH1 Unplugged
Gym Class Heroes VH1 Unplugged
Gym Class Heroes VH1 Unplugged
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