The 2012 Video Music Awards got off to a rip roaring start tonight courtesy of the smoldering talent that is Rihanna. Sporting a crimson red outfit and a super chic new pixy ‘do, she performed a medley of new remix of her song “Cockiness” (featuring A$AP Rocky) that our friends over at MTV premiered earlier this week) and “We Found Love” like a BOSS.
“Cockiness” —the hook of which features a sample by none other than Greg Kinnear (!!!)— is one of the raciest tracks on Talk That Talk, an album we described when it was released as “the dirtiest pop album since Madonna’s Erotica.” The chorus of “Suck my cockiness/Lick my persuasion” was liberally bleeped by the MTV censors, but one thing that MTV did not get around to blurring out was the moment when A$AP Rocky grabbed a handful of RiRi’s heinie. And when we say handful, we mean a HANDFUL.
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.
Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.
In the past four months, music has lost the following legends: Whitney Houston, Jim Marshall (Marshall amps), Levon Helm (The Band), Adam Yauch (Beastie Boys), Dick Dunn (Booker T. and The MG’s), Donna Summer, and Robin Gibb (Bee Gees).
Of the aforementioned, Houston and Yauch’s work directly impacted MTV.
Houston brought vocal talent to pop music and Yauch —although his uncle Nathanial Hornblower may take credit— directed and starred in some of the most memorable videos ever seen on MTV. Just last year he won a Moonman for “Best Director.”
Since Houston and Yauch helped put MTV on the map —or at least in millions of cable systems throughout the world— their tributes at the upcoming VMA’s (Sept. 6) best befit their groundbreaking accomplishments. Read more…