An excerpt from Rolling Stone‘s January 2012 issue’s cover story (on newsstands soon) has tongues wagging across the Internet today, as The Black Keys‘ Patrick Carney took what can only be described as a devastatingly large swipe at Nickelback. Speaking candidly to Rolling Stone, Carney said, “Rock & roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world… So they became OK with the idea that the biggest rock band in the world is always going to be sh*t — therefore you should never try to be the biggest rock band in the world. F**k that! Rock & roll is the music I feel the most passionately about, and I don’t like to see it f**king ruined and spoon-fed down our throats in this watered-down, post-grunge crap, horrendous sh*t. When people start lumping us into that kind of sh*t, it’s like, ‘F**k you,’ honestly.”
Speaking of “honestly”, we’re honestly a little bit dumbstruck by the comment — as a completely unprovoked attack, it seems a quite malicious and in poor spirit. We can understand why musicians have seen a void in rock music of late — what with the trend towards Euro-dance, high energy pop and Adele in 2011 — but we’re not sure that the attribution of blame for this is so quantifiable. And we’d like to know who exactly is “lumping” The Black Keys with Nickelback; to us, the two bands present two very different sounds, and we think it would be an oversight to say they are of similar influence. We’re not saying that The Black Keys should be Nickelback fans, we’re just surprised that Carney’s statement was filled with such unnecessary vitriol towards the Nickelback. Come on guys, there’s enough room on the charts for everyone, and we like to think that there will always be a place for rock & roll, no matter what other contemporary trends emerge.
Cover Story Excerpt: The Black Keys [Rolling Stone]
[Photos: Getty Images]
Rapper 50 Cent is no stranger to success; all four of his already released albums garnered healthy doses of commercial success. His first album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, released in 2003, sold eight million copies, making it the fourth biggest selling hip hop album of all-time in the USA. The Massacre, released in 2005, sold 1.14 million copies in its first week, which makes it the sixth fastest-selling album since 1991 (when SoundScan began compiling sales data), and 2007’s Curtis sold 1.3 million copies. However, his 2009 joint Before I Self Destruct, only managed to sell 436,000 copies, and now it seems that his record label is losing confidence in his current project. Over the New Year holiday, 50 Cent took to Twitter to complain about Interscope letting him down. At 4:11 am on the 31st of December, 50 tweeted, “I got 3,500,000 views in 3 day on hands up. Ok I need a record deal jimmy iovine , call me early tomorrow or I’m putting out another mix tape.” Later the same day, 50 Cent reiterated his frustration and disappointment on Twitter:
Demi Lovato lashed out at Disney on her Twitter after some insensitive programming included an eating disorder joke. The former Disney star, who was admitted to rehab last year after struggling with bulimia, was enraged by a line jokingly delivered by a female character in the show Shake It Up: “I could eat you up, well, if I ate.” Demi’s tweets reflected the irresponsibility of Disney airing the joke, especially in light of her illness.
Demi later Tweeted, “And is it just me or are the actress’ getting THINNER AND THINNER… I miss the days of RAVEN, and LIZZIE MCGUIRE,” before finishing with the clear statement, “Dear Disney Channel, EATING DISORDERS ARE NOT SOMETHING TO JOKE ABOUT.” The Disney Channel, obviously keeping up with Demi’s Twitter feed, was quick to react, pulling the offending episode from the air and Tweeting, “we hear you & are pulling both episodes as quickly as possible & reevaluating them,” and, “It’s NEVER our intention to make light of eating disorders!”
The incident is yet another example of the power of artists to draw attention to social injustices and even to make serious changes. Demi speaking out against the joke puts her in the ranks with Lady Gaga (who was vocal in the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, and has taken her fight against bullying all the way to the White House), and Rihanna, who recently took to Twitter to defend against racist comments made in a Dutch magazine. We’d love to give Demi a high five for standing up for what she believes in and using her power to give a public voice to those who might be suffering through the same illness she has struggled with.
Demi Lovato gets Disney to remove eating disorder joke [PopWatch]
[Photo: Getty Images]
Next April will see legends Guns N’ Roses inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and there’s been some speculation as to whether or not the band will get back together for the event. Even with Steven Adler’s misgivings and Axl Rose’s beef with several band members, both haven’t entirely ruled out the possibility of a reunion, although they have remained generally cagey. Now, Axl Rose has stirred up even more speculation telling the L.A. Times that while he would chose to snub Adler and Izzy Stradlin in a reunion, he would consider playing with Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, stating, “The only thing that would make it would be Duff and Slash, really… It’s nothing against Izzy and it’s nothing against Steven, or anything like that. Steven may want it, but these guys I’m working with right now, they work really hard and it’s hard work. I’ve toured with the other guys and I’ve also seen what they’ve done since, and I just know the difficulties. So it’s not really even a full reunion.” We think it would be nice to see the boys lay down their arms and get together for the award ceremony, even if they choose not to tour — they earned the accolades together, after all!
Axl Rose talks playing the Forum, Hall of Fame gig, reunion [LAT via NME]
[Photo: Getty Images]
A video game company, Gate Five, is suing Beyoncé for $100 million dollars, and our first question to them is: do you hate yourselves? Why would you sue Beyoncé? Is it even OK to sue a pregnant woman? Would it not be slightly more decent to at least wait until she’s given birth? The company (ergh) alleges that they lost $7 million when Beyoncé pulled out of producing a dance-based video game, “Starpower: Beyoncé,” with them in 2010. Yes, we know — we said they were suing for $100 million, not $7 million. Apparently, Gate Five believes they’re entitled to the hefty sum of $100 million due to the projected profits they would have made, but failed to make, because Beyoncé pulled out. We hope this doesn’t spell the end of time for Beyoncé!
Beyonce Being Sued For $100 Million By Video Game Company [Prefix]
Guns N’ Roses is headed for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in April, and since Wednesday’s announcement, nary a critic has debated their worthiness for inclusion. Instead, the conversation around G N’R this week has mainly revolved around speculation as to whether or not Axl and Slash will be able to put aside 20 years worth of acrimony and actually show up in the same place at the same time. No one has been able to get either Axl or Slash to go on the record with their intentions, but Rolling Stone was able to get former G N’R drummer (and Celebrity Rehab cast member) Steven Adler to dish on whether or not they’ll be getting the band back together for one last night, as well as what he thought about Axl’s recent interview on VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show.
“Unfortunately, I don’t foresee it,” Adler explained to Rolling Stone‘s Andy Greene. “You figure that time could heal all wounds, but some people just REALLY hold a crazy grudge.” Greene pressed Adler further on the issue, and being the eminently quotable guy that he is, Adler delivered:
If the Police could do a reunion … One of the biggest jerks I ever met was Sting,” Adler dished. “If he can do it, then anyone can do it. It’s not that big a deal. And the Eagles! They did it! They severely hated each other. It’s just rock and roll. It’s not like anyone has f***ed anyone’s wife or stole their wife, like the Rolling Stones with Brian Jones and Keith Richards. None of that crap happened.”
During Axl Rose’s interview with That Metal Show, he pretty much said the same thing. At the time of the interview, the band was only on the short list of nominees and they had not been informed of their eventual induction, but Axl still weighed in:
In the first line of Birdman‘s new track “Y. U. Mad,” Nicki Minaj declares “I am the female Weezy,” and in the video she’s wearing waist length dreadlocks, a wife beater and army fatigues, doing a pretty accurate Lil Wayne impersonation. For the rest of her scenes though, Nicki does what Nicki does best in a bondage style onesie that leaves little to the imagination. Meanwhile, Weezy is dressed in a crazy fur hat as some futuristic love child of a rap influenced skater boy and a pill popping rave attendee, while Birdman drives around in a nifty car, is surrounded by piles of money and some bikini clad women giving the camera suspiciously sexy glances.
The track itself is a roof shaker, with a dirty, heavy bass and Nicki’s chorus “that’s why you’re mad, that’s why you’re why you’re mad mad,” is hopelessly catchy. We’re thinking Nicki makes the song, her abrasive, throaty raps just perfect for the apocalyptic, oppressive bass line. The decadent visuals and flashing lights just add to the drama of the beat, making the topic of the song, the reign of Birdman, Nicki and Wayne, although unexpected, completely convincing. Although we’re still not entirely sure why super famous/rich celebrities have to sing about being super famous/rich all the time, calling out their haters based on jealousy — surely being super famous/rich is enough to allay their insecurities? The “pop ya collar” concept, in short, is getting a little tired.
And it’s got us wondering, given that over the weekend Nicki and her boyfriend Safaree Samuels got into a much talked about Twitter argument with Cher, if Nicki isn’t really just giving the middle finger here. Although maybe Cher isn’t Nicki’s intended target, the tweet-fight certainly resonates with “Y. U. Mad,” so we’re increasingly inclined to ask Nicki that exact question. Why you mad, Nicki dear?
We love a good hunk of beef, and it seems like veteran rapper Ludacris has slapped new-kid-on-the-block Drake in the face with a big, fat, juicy steak’s worth. On his new track, “Bada Boom”, Ludacris not only samples The Fifth Element with Leeloo’s iconic line, “big bada boom,” he throws down against Drake — lyrically, of course.
The beef began after AllHipHop interviewed Drake and asked, “How much do Young Money artists bounce off each other? I noticed you have similar inflections and cadences or rhyme patterns.” Drake attributed the style to Big Sean and tacked on some cryptic, but not so cryptic so as not to ruffle any feathers, editorial, “I don’t want to offend somebody. I hate that rappers picked that flow up. I wish they had left that for people that know how to use it. [They go like] It’s a parade! MACYS!”?
Billboard.biz has confirmed that Lady Gaga will no longer be working with her long time collaborator, creative director Laurieann Gibson. Gaga has been working with Gibson since she was signed to Interscope in 2007, and the creative director has been central in building the unique, sometimes controversial Gaga-aesthetic that has become so iconic in pop culture. With reports abounding that the two decided to split creatively after a “bitter fight,” we’re wondering how the divide will affect Gaga’s brand; although we do expect that Mother Monster won’t even skip a beat, being that her persona essentially has a life of its own.
The animosity between Lady Gaga and Gibson apparently stems from several comments made to the media by Gibson crediting Madonna as Gaga’s style inspiration. With Gaga working so hard to throw off these comparisons, Gibson’s comments created much tension, which was reportedly compounded by creative clashes over the “Judas” video, in which Gibson became upset with the Mother Monster over the use of religious iconography. Additionally, “The Edge Of Glory” also became the subject of creative clashes featuring Gibon’s conservative visions, hence the low-fi, seemingly very un-Gaga production. Now that we have this information, we’re hoping that the break-up will be beneficial for Gaga, and that the superstar performer will get back on her A game when it comes to music videos. We love Gaga and we prefer it when the pop-star is turning heads, so a return to her directional, experimental beginnings would be just grand — in short, we want our Gaga nice and weird!
Following the release of Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s audaciously entitled Watch The Throne album, the ongoing competition between the Hov and rapper Lil Wayne was back on the front burner. With Jay-Z offering up the diss, “Really you got baby money / You ain’t got my lady’s money,” on “H.A.M,” Wayne responded in kind on Carter IV‘s “It’s Good,” threatening to kidnap Jay’s wifey Beyoncé with the line “Talkin ’bout baby money, I got your baby money / Kidnap your bitch, get that how much you love your lady money.” The rivalry created by the conflicting albums was seemingly quashed when Carter IV out-sold Watch The Throne boasting nearly a million copies in its first week.
But now it seems that Lil Wayne’s record sales weren’t enough to assure the rapper of his dominance over WTT, as reports have revealed that the recording artist will not be going ahead with plans to co-produce an album with Drake, supposedly due to fears of comparison with WTT. In an interview with XXL, Drake explained, “It would be sort of this competition [with Watch The Throne]. I feel like it would get caught in this whirlwind of hype. [Wayne] agreed. We just said, ‘If we do it, we’ll do it down the line. But right now is not the time.’” It seems that for now Jay-Z and Kanye are safely overseeing their kingdom; but is Lil Wayne’s bowing to their power a defeat, or a strategic play that will see the throne eventually toppled and reclaimed?
Lil Wayne & Drake Scrap Joint LP Because of Jay-Z & Kanye West [XXL]
[Photo: Getty Images]