Lil Wayne had 964,000 reasons to celebrate yesterday, and on BET’s 106 & Park he got eighteen more?one for each of his nominations for the 6th annual BET Hip-Hop Awards, which air Tuesday, October 11 at 8PM ET. Lil Wayne is so heavily nominated, in fact, that his toughest competition may be himself: he’s twice-nominated in the categories of Best Hip-Hop Video, Best Club Banger, and Verizon People’s Champ, and three-times-nominated for Reese’s Perfect Combo (Best Collab) and Track of the Year. In fact, only three songs account for eleven of those nominations: his own “6 Foot 7 Foot” featuring Cory Gunz, DJ Khaled‘s four-times-nominated “I’m On One” (also featuring Drake and Rick Ross) and Chris Brown‘s “Look At Me Now,” which is nominated in all six song categories (though the Best Featured Verse nomination goes not to Lil Wayne but to Busta Rhymes). “Look At Me Now” is an unsurprising frontrunner: back in June, the song won Best Collaboration, Viewer’s Choice, and Video of the Year at the BET Awards, and when it lost the Best Collaboration VMA to “E.T.,” Kanye West (himself nominated for ten BET Hip-Hop Awards) took to the mic to say that the Chris Brown video deserved to win. Voting for the Verizon People’s Champ Award will open soon; until then, watch “Look At Me Now” and, below the cut, check out the full list of nominees.
The-Dream has been fighting a very public battle of late, though his opponent may just be himself. His very public divorce from Christina Milian last year after allegations of infidelity remain very much on his mind?not so much the events themselves, but the reactions of listeners and of the gossip press, which he lumps together as “The Internet.” (In an interview with Ryan Dombal at Pitchfork, he indirectly cited the Gospel passage “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”) Meanwhile, he released the lyrically vulnerable free album 1977 (under his given name, Terius Nash), after what appeared from his Twitter feed to be a behind-the-scenes battle with his label Def Jam, though no one at the label ever made any public comment for or against the album’s release.
Now, in an interview with Hillary Crosley at Rolling Stone, he’s come clean with his grievances. He continues the streak of romantic fatalism that he began when he offered unsolicited advice in his Pitchfork interview: “Don?t get in a relationship if you?re going to leave a man if he cheats on you. Because 99% of the time he?s going to cheat.” In Rolling Stone he notes that “Most marriages end in divorce anyway,” though he claims, “I?m not bitter?I?m a crazy, hopeless romantic.” The vitriolic reaction to his alleged misdeeds (to which he all but confesses) seems only to have made him that much more set in his ways. He sounds a bit like Kanye West in this?an insecure but wildly talented songwriter who, in his desire to please all audiences without catering to what he perceives as a lowest common denominator, sees himself as beset on all sides by critics (not helped by the fact that both are adept at making very public personal misjudgments).
The Spring of Adele almost became the Summer of Adele, and get ready, ’cause we may well be heading into the Autumn of Adele. Thanks to burgeoning radio support, and a boost in already unceasing sales (thanks in particular to her performance of the song at the 2011 Video Music Awards), “Someone Like You” became her second #1 single from 21 this week.
Adele’s first single from the album, the now nine-month-old “Rolling In The Deep,” is still in the top 20, but after spending April in the top ten and May and June at #1, it spent the rest of the summer ever-so-slowly receding from the chart peak, and continuing to sell even as radio has backed off its support in favor of the new single. Lil Wayne may have shifted nearly a million units this past week, but on the singles chart, Adele is still wearing the crown. It remains to be seen whether “Someone Like You” will continue her reign. The fan favorite from 21 was an obvious choice for follow-up single, but does it have the staying power of “Rolling In The Deep”? Will other pop songs have to settle for second place this fall? Revisit her VMA performance below, and let us know what you think in the comments!
Some have argued that the sales of Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way LP have been disappointing. Whether or not that’s actually true, you can’t lay any of the blame for the sales numbers on the Mother Monster’s promotional efforts. As we documented with our patented Gaga-Mometer™ a few months ago, she’s been pushing the merits of her album since way back on June 21, 2010, making stops at the Grammys, American Idol, the Howard Stern Show and the 2011 VMAs along the way. Soon, you’ll be able to add a Times Square concert for a million-plus revelers on New Year’s Eve to that list.
It was reported earlier today that Gaga has been booked to ring in 2012 with a performance on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest live from the heart of New York City. Meanwhile, Fergie will be stationed in Los Angeles and will host whatever the West Coast equivalent to a ball-drop is. No further details about Gaga’s performance have emerged, so at this point, we ask for you to keep your fingers crossed that Jo Calderone won’t be working on a set of new material that night.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Dave Grohl made a guest appearance on Chelsea Lately last night?not to play music, but to talk VMAs with host Chelsea Handler (who of course emceed last year’s VMA ceremony).?With no musical guest on The Late Show and Kristin Chenoweth and Chris Colfer on The Tonight Show, yesterday may have seemed the perfect opportunity to repeat a cry for “real” rock music, and to clarify his much-quoted comment to the Hollywood Reporter, “F?k Glee.”
Grohl remains one of the nicest guys in music, and we love seeing him tell stories and wave goofily, even though he’s starting to sound like an old man when talking about music. In he interview he refers to the use of “computers” as “cheating,” and pointedly notes that when the Foo Fighters play live, it sounds like “five guys beating the s?t out of their instruments,” making an implicit contrast with artists who faithfully reproduce their recorded songs live. (Don’t count on the Foos playing The Colour and the Shape start to finish anytime soon.) We wouldn’t have the Foos any other way, but we certainly don’t want every artist to embrace this philosophy.?
As for Glee, well, far be it from us to say that Grohl should take lessons from Lady Gaga about artifice, but when a guy praises Kiss and Queen in one breath and spits out the word “musical” with derision in the next, there’s a bit of a disconnect. That said, Glee is more like professional karaoke than a Top 40 jukebox musical, and we will always have a soft spot in our hearts for nineties dudes who insist you don’t have to sell out to anyone. DIY-or-die may not be a requirement, but it’s always an option.
Our favorite bit of this interview, though, was Grohl’s anecdotes about Cloris Leachman at the 2011 VMAs. He told Handler that she spent the ceremony in slippers, and when Adele performed, the actress went right up to the stage to watch, camera crew be damned. Right on, Cloris! Who’s gonna tell you not to?
Elsewhere on late night…
Big Sean Video Features Kanye West And Cheesecake
And don’t the two go hand-in-hand? The Hype Williams-directed video for Big Sean‘s “Marvin and Chardonnay” splits the difference between Williams’s 2005 clip for Kanye West‘s “Gold Digger” and “Best I Ever Had,” the Drake video that West directed. [YouTube]
Blink-182 Release New Song
Two weeks after premiering the video for lead single “Up All Night,” Blink-182 have released another cut from Neighborhoods (due out September 27). “After Midnight” is available as a free download for winners of a mind-numbingly simple stopwatch game that we nevertheless kept playing until we won (after 13 attempts). [Spin]
Madonna may have dropped a tidbit or two about her own music while in Venice promoting her new film W.E., but ask about the careers of others at your own peril. Belgian reporter Nicolas Crousse learned as much when he tried to draw a parallel between the film and Madonna’s life.
In W.E., Abbie Cornish‘s character Wally is an obsessed admirer of Wallis Simpson (the “W.” of the film’s title) who, in a parallel story over a half-century after the 1930s drama of Simpson and Edward VIII (the “E”), conspires to win a Wallis Simpson heirloom at a Sotheby’s auction. In his interview for Belgian newspaper Le Soir, Crouse asked Madonna if Wally’s fascination with Wallis could be seen as a commentary on the fascination Madonna’s fans (in particular Lady Gaga) have with the Material Girl.
Madonna dismissed the question outright, saying that Wally’s story offered an additional perspective on Wallis Simpson, to complicate what might otherwise be seen as black and white (“tout blanc ou tout noir”). “As for Lady Gaga,” she continued, “I have no comment to make about her obsessions having to do with me because I don’t know whether her behavior is rooted in something deep and meaningful, or superficial,” (per E! Online‘s English translation of her remarks). Madonna’s answer was an expert dodge of both a tangential topic and a potential PR fumble regarding any Gaga news of which she might not be aware. Nevertheless, Gaga can’t be pleased with the nature of the response.
After Lady Gaga spent the 2011 Video Music Awards in Jo Calderone‘s plain attire, you’d be forgiven for thinking that she went a step further for the October 2011 cover of Harper’s Bazaar, appearing as Stefani Germanotta. Of course, it’s never so simple for Gaga, who would insist that appearing as “herself” would be a betrayal of appearing as her self. Though, as Laura Brown‘s interview explains, the “basically barefaced Gaga is very deliberately dressed down,” this, to Gaga, is just as artificial as any other way she has appeared:
Don’t you think that what’s on the cover of a magazine is quite artificial? There’s this idea that it’s all natural, but everything’s been staged to look natural. It is also an invention. It’s just that my inventions are different. I often get asked about my artifice, but isn’t fashion based on the idea that we can create a fantasy?
Gaga’s point here gets some support from the magazine itself, when a caption in its online Gaga gallery offers the advice, “To get Lady Gaga’s no-makeup look, try Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation ($29.15), Prep + Prime Highlighter ($23), Brow Gel ($15) and Prep + Prime Lash ($15). All M.A.C.”
The 2011 Video Music Awards had quite the effect on this week’s charts. Adele, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga were among the artists posted who posted sales bumps after performances a week ago Sunday. Possibly none of them benefited as much as Lil Wayne, whose album Tha Carter IV went on sale less than an hour after the show wrapped on the East Coast. His performance of “How To Love” and “John” was one of innumerable factors that led to a monster first week sales tally of 964,000.
These numbers are no joke. The album not only hit #1 with a bullet on the Billboard 200 (followed by the Red Hot Chili Peppers with 229,000 copies of I’m With You) but it also could become the second-best-selling album of the year. Granted, the fourth-quarter schedule is packed with heavy hitters like Coldplay, whose Mylo Xyloto drops October 25, but Lil Wayne’s album has already sold more than half in its first week of what Gaga’s Born This Way has sold since its release, without the help of the type of loss-leading that scored Gaga the year’s biggest first week. We doubt any album (from anybody) will come near the three-million-and-counting sales of Adele’s 21, but the race to second place just got significantly more crowded (and more interesting), as we suspect Tha Carter IV will have not-insignificant legs.
[Image: Getty Images]
Jeff Tweedy, lead singer of the critically acclaimed band Wilco, is not really known for his sense of humor. That’s not to say he’s a humorless fellow; rather, it’s just that when he chooses songs to cover, it’s generally because he’s paying homage to artists who have meaning (see: the two records he made with Billy Bragg comprised solely of Woody Guthrie covers).
That was not exactly the case in Chicago last night, where Jeff Tweedy performed at a book party for the release of Dan Sinker‘s The F***ing Epic Quest of @MayorEmanuel. Instead of going the somber route, Tweedy kept with the evening’s light-hearted nature and proved his comedic chops by busting out a solo acoustic cover of the Black Eyed Peas smash, “I Gotta Feeling.” We presume this decision had something to do with the fact that this song was played during the real Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s election party back in February, and the cover was delivered with exactly the right amount of irony that you’d expect from a Generation X icon like Tweedy. He warns listeners early on that his BEP cover “is gonna be bad, gonna be really bad,” but after the seeing the final results, we beg to differ with his assessment.
Jeff Tweedy performs the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” [Time Out Chicago via Growing Pangs]