Tonight, legendary emcee Nas joins this season’s Behind the Music alumni of artists like Aaliyah, Nelly, T-Pain, Game and Akon. In the program, the Queens rapper —who entered the hip hop game back in 1994 with the classic Illmatic— opens up about life, love, loss and beef.
Speaking of the latter, Nas’ 2001 rivalry with Jay-Z was, without question, one of hip-hop’s all-time biggest beefs. In this exclusive clip, Nas talks about his reconciliation with one of the game’s biggest luminaries. After the diss records and the hype had dwindled, Nas remembers L.A. Reid asking if he’d be willing to talk to Jay. He went to the studio where Jay was, and like two true New Yorkers whose hearts beat hip-hop, the two dapped each other while laughing. When Nas signed to Def Jam in 2006, Jay-Z said, “You can’t sign an artist of Nas stature. You can only partner with him.”
Watch Behind the Music: Nas tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
If we were in a relationship with Jay-Z and Kanye West, we’d need to have a serious sit-down regarding mixed signals. We got some arguably underwhelming “H.A.M.” back in January, and next they came with haircut symbol of album completion in May. Then, two weeks ago, we got confirmation that they were quietly pushing the Watch The Throne back. Considering the LP is due out digitally on August 1st (physically on August 5th), the suspense was thickening, and we were starting to get antsy about their level of commitment.
Like most men, however, this pair just need space to come around when they’re good and ready. Virtuous patience paid off; last night, Jay and ‘Ye finally showed us some love and released “Otis,” and, just like that, our relationship is repaired. After first being played on New York City’s Hot 97 via FunkMaster Flex, the track that samples Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness” was officially liberated for consumption.
Proud and pompous verses ricochet back and forth between the two emcees on the song, invoking nostalgia for past collaborations like “Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix)” and “Never Let Me Down.” And even though the intoxicating sample is sprinking pixie dust in our eyes, this may not be the powerful single and Song of The Summer that we’ve been waiting for. That said, the gang is intact, and they definitely haven’t let us down.
Kanye West x Jay-Z ? Otis (feat. Otis Redding) [OnSmash]
He calls him self a “sexual gorilla”? and explains the erotic particulars of a “human banana split” – on his new record, Ray J reminds us that he’s not only a VIP and celebreality star, he’s also a red-blooded dude with an eye for the ladies.
For The Love of Ray J (The Soundtrack) boasts that famous Ray J hush, a vocal style that makes it seem like he’s whispering in your ear. A handful of pals help out on various tracks: Warren G, Shorty Mack, Slim Thug, and Sheek Louch all show up for a bit.
“Sex in the Rain” and “Dirty Samantha” are items of interest. But those who are glued to VH1 on Monday nights are going to have to hear what the CD’s title cut says about each of the women on his hit show – yes, including Danger. Get the entire track listing and an X-Rated Ray J photo gallery after the jump.
Download For The Love of Ray J (Soundtrack) now, exclusively on Rhapsody.
Watch Ray J answer fan questions about romance and fame
Watch the latest full episode of For the Love of Ray J.
“Don’t know if you got a man or not/if god put me in ya plans or not/I’m tripping, this drink got me saying a lot…”
It’s not the drink that’s got Kanye West gabbing – he’s always got something to say. This Saturday night, his subject of choice is his rather incredible songs and the tales behind their creation. His latest CD, 808s & Heartbreak, is all about love lost. Expect lots of vivid explanations.
The Kanye West edition of our Storytellers show is one of the most exciting we’ve ever had. What’s the set list include? We’ll tell you the show’s songs right here. Put hip-hop in your plans on Saturday night at 9/8c.? Come back to VH1.com after the show for some extra, online-exclusive, performances.
Check Storytellers shows by Mary J. Blige, Kid Rock, Jay-Z, Snoop, and others.
Check Kanye West videos, interviews, and photos
Hip-hop’s biggest star swooped into our studios last weekend, delivering a performance for our Storytellers show that was full of the passion and authority that Kanye West fans have come to expect from their hero. His recent Heartbreak & 808s disc was all about lost love.
The show, which airs on VH1 on February 28th at 9/8c, showcases several of new tunes (Download the disc at Rhapsody). It also digs into some of Kanye’s previous hits.? Here’s a list of the songs that are scheduled to be included in the final cut.
Say You Will
Touch the Sky
Stay tuned: Next week we’ll have an exclusive performance from the show, West working his way through “Love Lockdown.”
Check out Kanye West Videos and Photos, Watch lots of Hip-Hop Videos.
It’s a time of activism, and it’s a time of uniting to solve problems together. Working in the spirit of such ideals, the IntraHealth group has been bringing lots of new ideas to the table regarding health care initiatives in Africa.? LIke most forward thinking enterprises, they’ve gotten plenty of cooperation with artists. African bandleader and global superstar Youssou N’Dour is at the center of this community. And today, along with several other musicians, Nas has put a foot forward to assist the program.
An exclusive remix of Nas’s “Wake Up” is available to those want to participate in the IntraHealth campaign.? It’s free, but you’ll also have a chance to make a donation to the cause as you’re acquiring the track. Please think about participating.
HEAD TO RHAPSODY TO DOWNLOAD THE NAS TRACK.
HEAD TO INTRAHEALTH TO DONATE TO THE CAUSE.
Make the jump to learn more about IntraHealth, the artists involved (such as R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Duncan Sheik), and the ways the campaign has already helped those in need.
Listen to Nas’ music on Rhapsody.
Lil Wayne rhymes “handcuffs” with “pants off” in his f*ck the police opus “Mrs Officer.” He’s not the first guy who’s been hot for a lady in uniform. Bet there’s lots of that lust in the air now that the world is getting a glimpse of Beyonce‘s new “If I Was a Boy” – B looks sweet in her NYPD blues. It’s a message clip, full of implications about stereotyped relationship roles and the friction that’s created when jealousy dominates a domestic scene. It’s also only one of the two videos that Beyonce has dropped today. The other is a dance party dealio, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).”
Here’s one perspective on the two-sided move by the R&B princess and the alter-egos she likes to express.
Here’s a full playlist of the new videos, as well as classic clips and exclusives in Box Set.
And here’s the “Single Ladies” clip, after the jump.
With Cypress Hill, De La Soul, Naughty by Nature, Slick Rick, and Too $hort in the center ring, this year’s Hip Hop Honors show is set to be rather devastating. Factor in a cast of performers that includes Kid Rock, Big Boi, Wyclef Jean, and Lil Jon, and whole thing gets a lot hotter. Carve out time to be in front of the television on Monday, October 6th at 10 pm ET – that’s when the beats start to bounce.
There’s only one way to get psyched for the show. Jump into the massive Hip Hop Honors site we just launched. Old school videos, new school photos, and feature lists of the best rap discs ever and 2008’s top tracks…it’s all here. Check out the playlist of videos by the honorees and see if it gets the party started.
Head into VH1’s Hip Hop Honors site.
As part of Salt-N-Pepa, Sandy Denton struck a blow for women rappers everywhere. The famed trio’s string of hits, including “Push It” and “Let’s Talk About Sex,” opened lots of doors and lots of minds. Since her pioneering heyday of the ’80s, Pep’s gone on to participate in VH1’s Surreal Life, be celebrated on Hip Hop Honors, and show us the subtlties of the reunion with her old partner on the Salt-N-Pepa Show. Of course, she lived her life, too – it’s had its ups and downs.
The new Let’s Talk About Pep, a tell-all autobiography, is filled with the particulars of those ups and downs. Her rough childhood, teen stardom, falling out with Salt, battles with domestic abuse , premonitions of death, promise of celibacy, and lots more. You can purchase the book right here.
We grabbed one of the book’s more dramatic chapters to illustrate how candid the whole thing is. Here’s a section of “The Nightmare.”
“In my dream, I was standing at the top of this huge staircase. This staircase was like something out of Dynasty?with its white, wooden railings that seemed to go on forever. It was the kind of staircase you find in a mansion, splitting two wings. The staircase was so huge that in this dream I couldn?t stand in the middle and grab the railings?they seemed like a mile apart. In my dream, I?m at the top of the stairs and I?m in a fight. I?m on the wrong end of this fight, with my back to this huge staircase. I?m being beaten and I?m not really fighting back because I?m over this staircase?this long, hard, wooden staircase?and if I fall, that?s it. So I?m holding on to this person, trying to hold on to my life. But in my dream, I lose this struggle and end up at the bottom of this staircase broken. I don?t know whether I?m dead or paralyzed, but I?m not moving.
I was barely speaking to Brad. I was recuperating from that last incident with the IUD. I spoke to him long enough to tell him about the no sex for two months. But why was I even entertaining being with him again after that? I was not in my right mind. I was not in a good place…
The bomb, baby, the bomb! We always get a phalanx of talented artists participating in our annual Hip Hop Honors show, but this year’s line-up is extra terrific. Confirmed to give praise to our old school honorees are Lil Wayne, Kid Rock, Ghostface Killah, MC Lyte, Wyclef Jean, Big Boi, Lil Jon, Q-Tip, Bun B, Biz Markie, Scarface, Cheech and Chong, DJ Kaos, and Sanaa Lathan.
Tracy Morgan hosts the show, which airs on VH1 on Monday, October 6 at 10 ET/PT.
Watch videos by the participants and performers.
Vote for your 10 favorite hip hop videos.
Get more information on this year’s honorees, De La Soul, Too $hort, Slick Rick, Naughty By Nature, and Cypress Hill.