Over the last few days, the Internet has been running wild with rumors that Beyoncé‘s latest album, 4, had been pushed back by Columbia Records from its planned June release date to the fall. According to unsubstantiated reports that appeared on variousgossipblogs, an “emergency meeting” was called after execs at her label declared the album to be “too concept edgy and extreme” for American tastes. After the difficulty that the first single from the record, “Run The World (Girls),” had gaining traction on radio and in sales, these rumors seemed especially viable.
Adding fuel to the fire was Beyoncé’s Facebook statement last week after 4 leaked and started appearing on file sharing services, a message that included her stating that “this is not how I wanted to present my new songs.” Some interpreted that to mean that she was just upset about the leak, while others theorized that she had not completed work on the songs yet.
However, we here at VH1 decided to go straight to the source to find out once and for all whether or not 4 was officially being pushed back until fall. Sony Music, the parent company of Columbia Records, has yet to make an official statement on the matter, but we went directly to Beyoncé’s publicist this morning and received this statement from her team:
“Beyonc?’s album, 4, will be released on June 28.”
Well, Beyoncé fans, there you have it! Important distinction: As you’ll note, they didn’t say “is scheduled to be released on June 28,” they definitively said “will be released on June 28.” We will keep you abreast of any further developments to this story as they happen.
Our Wednesday roundup is hip-hop heavy: a shocking assault-related confession, an in-depth profile of Eminem and Royce Da 5’9″‘s duo Bad Meets Evil, and an indie rock Kanye cover:
Betrayed Friend of Former Rap Mogul Jimmy Henchman Claims Responsibility For November 1994 Tupac Shooting
After receiving word that his former associate Jimmy Henchman had accused him of turning state’s witness on him, Dexter Isaac, currently serving life in prison, has confessed to accompanying the shooter of Tupac Shakur at Manhattan’s Quad Studios in 1994?the first act of gun violence in the East Coast-West Coast conflict that ultimately led to the deaths of both Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac. Isaac claims Jimmy Henchman paid him $2,500 for the hit. [AllHipHop] Read more…
Vulture caught up with Ke$ha at amfAR’s NY Inspiration Event at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City last night to ask about “Till the World Ends.” Specifically: “Why would she turn over such an obvious smash to Britney Spears, when she could have kept it for herself?” Her answer:
“That song,” Ke$ha explained, “I?ve never been more proud of anything in my career… It really solidifies me as a songwriter in the pop music world, which is what I consider myself first and foremost. So it actually is really, really exciting for me when I hear [Britney] sing it. Like, when I hear my own songs on the radio I have to kind of turn it down or change the radio or whatever. When I hear that, I f****** blow the speakers out and I order everybody to dance.”
In all, the video is a touching tribute, and while young, female fans predominate, the montage does serve to showcase the wide range of Little Monsters out there?like this shirtless bro with the I Want to Believe poster, who jammed Clemons’s “Thunder Road” solo in the background of his message:
We can only echo the sentiments of everyone involved in the video. Get well soon, Big Man.
Bon Iver may call Wisconsin home, but the dreamlike video for his new single “Calgary” is more Minnesotan. For one, it’s co-directed by Dan Huiting, a Minneapolitan who has shot a ton of concert footage for MPLS.TV. For another, its star is Minnesota native and America’s Next Top Model Cycle 14 winner Raina Hein. The video, largely set in a swampy wilderness, draws heavily on films from the same late-80s period that, musically inspires the song’s smooth-rock sonic textures. Hein’s character descends through smoke, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors-style, into a quasi-magical 1980s everybog (pick your reference point: The NeverEnding Story‘s swampland; Labyrinth‘s Pit of Eternal Stench; The Princess Bride‘s Fire Swamp). She continues to wander through this dreamscape, emerging aboveground, meeting a man, and giving a Viking funeral to a heartlike rock. Then a stuffed bear on a bed gets upside-down un-buried:
We have no clue. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver wrote the treatment?ask him. We just love the song.
Bon Iver, Bon Iver is set for release a week from today.
Police responding to a call about two men “acting suspiciously in a red Fiat Punto” yesterday morning in Cullompton, a town in Devon, England, found the duo equipped with swords, rope, a body bag, and detailed maps and aerial photos of the nearby property of singer Joss Stone, The Sun reports.
The two men had driven over two hundred miles south from the Manchester area to reach their destination but were spotted slowly driving up and down the lanes in the posh rural area where Stone lives. The singer is estimated to be worth $15 million, but police would not confirm to The Guardian that the plot targeted her in particular, though they did offer assurances that a score of police in both Devon and Manchester were on the case.
Last month Lauryn Hill made her first late night appearance in years for Bob Marley Week on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and she must have had a great experience with the show, because she was back last night to play her classic single “Doo Wop (That Thing).” The very pregnant Hill showed no signs of flagging energy as she and her band (without any need of help from The Roots, even) blasted through a slightly sped-up version of the song. We don’t want to add more weight to the expectations many had (and still have) for Hill as an artist, but we can’t help but note that she remains an extraordinarily talented MC, and her band was right in the pocket.
When Mumford & Sons taped their Unplugged set back on April 13, the Grammy Award winners (and former You Oughta Know selection) elected to play a Contradictions Track as part of the show (which is presented by our friends at Starburst). After banjo player Winston Marshall joked that said cover would be a Britney Spears tune, the band instead launched into The National‘s “England,” a deep cut from 2010’s High Violet that sends up the imperial ordinariness that characterizes what might be called “the English Way.” To Mumford & Sons, choosing the ultimate contradiction was a lyrical, not a sonic, imperative. So there you have it: a London band covering a Brooklyn band’s track about someone in Los Angeles dismissing someone who ran off to?you guessed it?London. We?ve got the clip for you above, and be sure to tune in for their Unplugged performance when it debuts on Friday, June 24 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
We also caught up with Mumford & Sons last weekend at the Bonnaroo festival, where they provided us with one of the more surprising tidbits we learned all weekend. You would think that given their old-timey folk sound, the band would have nothing but the likes of the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack on their iPods. Well, it turns out that the musical tastes of Marcus Mumford and crew extend much deeper than one might expect. Check out our video below to find else what else floats their boat.
Westchester, NY’s G Fella is a rapper who identifies strongly with his Italian-American heritage (and his purported family history of mafia connections). Naturally, then, he recorded a rap ode to Mob Wives. A former member of Confidential (a hip-hop also-ran that came up under Queen Latifah and appeared on the Romeo Must Die soundtrack), G Fella is also a Mob Wives super-fan, judging from his shouts-out to the reality quartet and lyrics like “Jail visits, Fed joints, TV rules for the kids.” G Fella hasn’t gotten much notice in the New York hip-hop scene lately, except thanks to his collaboration with Big Pun’s son. But he sure got our attention with this track. And Drita D’avanzo is a fan, too: Read more…