While many musical historians look at the ’90s as the decade in which “alternative” and hip-hop music exploded from the underground into the mainstream, we here at VH1 haven’t forgotten that the decade was flush with a number of stone classic R&B tracks. In the latest installment of VH1’s long-running series The Greatest, The 40 Greatest R&B Songs Of The ’90s, we’re going deep into some of your favorite songs from that era.
Summer, summer, summertime…time to sit back and unwind. Hey, if that’s how Will Smith recommends to spend the months of June, July, and August, who am I to argue? As my colleagues Bené and Zara have attested, summer’s a time to be spent outdoors with friends, preferably with a boombox in proximity. We’re going to start counting down the 2012 Song Of The Summer very soon, but for now, here are three songs that I’ll be hitting repeat on all summer long.
NOMINATION:Icona Pop, “I Love It” EXPLANATION: Why do Swedes make the best pop music? Someone really ought to research this! While we all anxiously await for someone else to do the heavy lifting with that essay, I’m going to be bouncing around my apartment cranking this electro-pop earworm all the way up to 11, shouting “I DON’T CARE!” like a madman. The pulsating beats that dare you not to bounce up-and-down while pumping your fists (not fist pumping, though, because that’s lame), the crazy catchy sing-along melodies, the fact that it clocks in at exactly 3 minutes … all of these ingredients create a perfect recipe for a summer jam. Read more…
“Shame when trade magazines turn tabloid,” tweetedKaty Perry last night, likely in response to The Hollywood Reporter’s June cover story about her. Pegged loosely to the release of her 3-D concert-umentary Katy Perry: Part of Me (opening July 5), the story looks back on her rise to fame and finds a savvy star (“She knows her fan base so well, and her business acumen is incredible”) with a winning vision, and a killer work ethic. Mostly, it’s flattering. Though as her aggravated tweet suggests, the story occasionally strays from the shop talk when they ask about her faith, her family, and her estrangement from Russell Brand. And now Katy’s feeling twisted!
And so, putting ourselves into Katy Perry’s sparkly and probably candy colored shoes:
The top five parts most cringeworthy parts from THR‘s “Katy Perry: Confessions of a Pop Princess:”
Before it even begins, the story compares her public split with Russell Brand to Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries‘ much questioned split. Who would want that? “Nobody knows what really happened except the two people who are in it.” It’s June 6, and Katy Perry is talking about Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage to NBA up-and-comer Kris Humphries, unsure where her empathy lies with regard to the media-saturated spectacle of the split — or whether she feels any at all.”
Labeling her a “survivor of her own short-live whirlwind romance gone wrong,” they suggest that “differences of intellect” may have fueled the divorce. I am not sure if they are trying to imply that Perry is intellectually superior to Brand or vice versa, but I can’t imagine it’s flattering to be called dumb or to be told the person you once loved was dumb. Ouch!
Music sounds better in the summer, everyone knows this. It gets bigger, so we can bang it from our cars; and other times it gets weirder, because the sun’s got us spinning anyways. Most of all, the promise of Labor Day —when we can put away our “Call Me Maybes” with our white pants— begs repeat listening. Thusly, if you need me, I’ll be listening to one of these Song Of The Summer this summer:
NOMINATION: Justin Bieber, “Boyfriend” EXPLANATION: So what if it’s not really “chilling by the fire while we’re eating fondue” season? There is nothing this season so sweet as this falsetto bridge “I like to be everything you want / hey girl let me talk to you.” While being a little amateurish, his breathy rapping recalls the Ying Yang Twins’ “Whistle Song” in all the right ways; and the Justin Timberlake-like guitar picked chorus isn’t so bad, either. Read more…
Along with cocktails on rooftops and sunbathing by the pool, summer grants the official ok to zip by in your car with windows down blaring music from the speakers. Whether hearing someone’s music blasting from their headphones on the A train, or eating outdoors at my favorite low-key Brooklyn cafe, I look forward to observing what music gets the people going. Only hours into the official first day of summer there are already countless songs that are on constant replay on iPods or car stereos. For whatever reason, warm weather tends to bring proper music odes to the beauty of the new season. Cheers to this summer being one of producing music that makes you feel something. Here are three songs that I plan to have in heavy rotation over the next few months…
NOMINATION: Meek Mill ft. Drake & Jeremih, “Amen”
EXPLANATION: Summer time is when I indulge in rap music. The beats, instrumentation, samples and lyrics boost my energy for jam packed days. Unless you were a music journalist or a diehard hip-hop fan, it’s likely you hadn’t heard of Meek Mill at this time last year. That all changed with his successful single “I’m A Boss” and later the Dreamchasers mixtape. The buzz around the Philly rapper grew with praises of his storytelling ability in tracks from the mixtape like “Tony’s Story.” He signed to Maybach Music Group where his buzz blossomed due to his first mixtape, but it’s the followup, Dreamchasers 2, that was the real attention grabber. “Amen’s” church choir sound can be attributed to the organ, a common instrument that has been used in black church spirituals for forever. Although “amen, preach and church” are rattled off through the chorus, don’t expect to hear anything church-y. The only thing spiritual about “Amen” is its divine sound.
If there is one thing that is certain of the ’80s, it’s that we never had to worry about a shortage of hair bands. Big hair, makeup, tight pants — sometimes even tight LEATHER pants — we all know a good hair band when we see one. Jim Florentine, host of That Metal Show, stopped by VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live today to help sort out the Top 5 Hair Bands of the ’80s. Here is the list that they came up with:
5. Def Leppard. If you had a pulse in the ’80s or have ever been to a strip club (OR maybe even thought about taking up stripping as a profession, we don’t judge) you probably know the chorus of their iconic song “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” Let’s be real, EVERY TIME you hear this song you have to fight the urge to “take a bottle, shake it up” and of course sing “Pour Some Sugar On Me” at the top of your lungs. This iconic song came off their 1987 album Hysteria that sold over 20 million copies to date and spawned six hit singles. The band is still touring and STILL rocks to this day. Read more…
Within the last 10 years there hasn’t been a music success story quite like the one of Kanye West. He managed to transform himself from a well respected but not yet household name producer to a global rapper. He began producing in the late 90s for heavy hitting acts and became known for his soulful beats. It wasn’t until 2001 when he got his big break from Jay-Z’s “Izzo (H.O.V.A.).” From there he continued producing but began vocalizing his interest in rapping. Admittedly, no one one believed he could rap, thus labels weren’t willing to take the risk on signing him. Finally he signed to Dame Dash and Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella record label and debuted College Dropout in 2004. Kanye had proved everyone wrong, not only showing that he could rap, but that he could be great while doing it (College Dropout debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts).
That was eight years ago when Kanye was a hungry 27-year-old trying to turn his dreams into reality. Today he’s 35 with five albums under his belt, one collaboration album, countless producer credits, a fashion line and his own G.O.O.D. Music record label. Publicly, he’s been scrutinized for his crass statements on live TV. His public missteps and ego aside, Ye continues to be one of the greatest music talents that has emerged in the last decade. To honor his 35th birthday, check out our list of his 35 greatest songs (which we have also turned into a Spotify playlist). Feel free to disagree with our list and add your own in the comment section below.
This weekend we wrapped the 10th Season of That Metal Show with HellYeah (and former Pantera) drummer Vinnie Paul, Tommy Shaw, and James “JY” Young of Styx. We rocked out to legendary guitarist Steve Stevens, who stood in as our guest musician.
In past episodes of That Metal Show, the boys have argued, fought and made the tough calls on the TMS TOP 5 Front men, Guitarists, Bassists, and Drummers. But this week, our hosts paid respect to yet another league of hard rock and heavy metal musicians: the TMS TOP 5 Keyboardists. How do you choose from all of the talented musicians who man the keys? You have the triple-threat Geddy Lee (Rush), who plays bass, sings, and is the keyboardist for Rush. There’s UFO’s Paul Raymond, Derek Sherinian of Dream Theater and Black Country Communion, Michael Kenney of Iron Maiden, and Darren Wharton of Thin Lizzy, to name a few.
But when Jennifer flipped the board, Jon Lord and Don Airey of Deep Purple showed up in ALL THREE of the hosts’ lists, so it quickly became clear who would earn the top 2 spots. After much debate, the guys were able to narrow their picks down to the TMS Top 5 Keyboardists. Here’s who they came up with: Read more…
Last night’s Billboard Music Awards was an exhausting extravaganza, one that lasted for three full hours and still managed to feel a bit incomplete. Of course, it didn’t help the show’s cause that many of the biggest names in the music world — Adele, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Lady Gaga, to name just a few — decided that they had better places to be last night than at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and the show caught some Twitter backlash for last-minute(ish) tributes to Donna Summer and Adam “MCA” Yauch that fell flat.
That said, there were certainly more than a few memorable moments at last night’s show (which we hope you watched while following our @VH1Music Twitter feed). Here are our Top 5 Moments from the 2012 Billboard Music Awards! (Apologies in advance to all the Beliebers, for young Justin’s mostly lip-synced performance of “Boyfriend” did not make the cut.)
5. Kelly Clarkson’s live television debut of “Dark Side”
Presenter Robin Thicke introduced Kelly’s performance of her new single, “Dark Side,” by stating that she was performing the song “for the first time ever.” Of course, that was not entirely accurate, as Kelly performed an AMAZING version of “Dark Side” on VH1 Storytellers last fall. Still, Kelly looked incredibly gorgeous and, not surprisingly, used her powerhouse vocals to blow the roof off the place. Read more…
This week on That Metal Show, we welcomed The Cult’sIan Astbury and Billy Duffy, as well as German metal vocalist DORO Pesch. We rocked out with TMS alum Frank Hannon, who returned as our guest musician for the second week in a row. We also asked Tom Morello to stop by our TMS Top 5 segment and help us come up with the Top 5 Black Sabbath riffs of all time.
Over the past 40 years, the legendary Tony Iommi has given us such a magnitude of amazing riffs that it’s nearly impossible to cut the list down to a mere five. How do you choose from the iconic “Heaven and Hell” riff (which fans sing along to in stadiums), the punishingly heavy, haunting riff of “Black Sabbath,” and the “Iron Man” riff, which is arguably the most recognizable of all time? After much debate, the boys were able to narrow down the TMS TOP 5 Sabbath Riffs. Here’s what they came up with: Read more…