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.
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.
When Donna Summer passed away today at the age of 63, the world lost its undisputed Queens of Disco. During the year 1979, which was arguably the high point of the disco craze, she had five songs chart in the Billboard Top 40 (!!!), three of which — “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls” and “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”— made it all the way to #1.
Thanks to her incredible vocal range and an ability to appeal pop, rock and R&B audiences, Donna Summer was able to survive the disco implosion (a fate that a lot of her peers cannot claim). In fact, there was a 14-year span in which Summer had songs that made America’s Top 40, a period that began with the release of the sensually charged “Love To Love You Baby” in December of 1975 and closed in May of 1989 with her Top 10 single “This Time I Know It’s For Real.” And although her mass appeal dimmed as the Nineties dawned, she remained a vital creative force; she picked up a Grammy in 1998 for Best Dance Recording, which was just one of five Grammys she won during her legendary career.
While we mourn the loss of an American legend, we thought the best way to pay tribute to her incredible body of work was to put together the following Spotify playlist, which includes all of her songs that charted in the Billboard Top 40*.
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…
We here at VH1 are strong believers that mothers are worthy of appreciation 365 days a year. That said, this Sunday is the official day we honor those special women in our lives. Seeing as how music has always been expressive and a reflection of the artist’s own life, it only makes sense that everyone from Tupac to Taylor Swift have created songs expressing their love for the woman that brought them into the world. Those songs cover the entire spectrum, from light and fun to heartfelt and emotional. In honor of Mother’s Day, we’ve put together a Spotify playlist of our all-time favorite songs dedicated to moms. Since we don’t sing or rap, we’re leaving it to those that do to honor all the mamas. Happy Mother’s Day!
1. “Dear Mama”- Tupac
Tupac’s ode to his mother Afeni Shakur has to be one of the most touching and well known dedication songs in music.
2. “Mama’s Song” – Carrie Underwood
In this guitar heavy country song, Underwood reassures her mom that her husband to be is a great man, and marrying him doesn’t mean her mom is losing her.
3. “Hey Mama”- Kanye West
“It don’t got to be Mother’s Day or your birthday for me to call and say, ‘Hey, mama.'” When Kanye made this fun track for his mother, we never imagined it’d be the very song he’d perform in her honor after her death. Counting our lucky stars that she was able to hear it before she passed.
4. “The Best Day” – Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift probably has a lot of great days seeing as how she’s one of the biggest country singers and all. But spending quality time with her mom tops the list of best days she’s ever had.
When Boyz II Men’s “A Song For Mama” played on the popular late 90s movie Soul Food, eyes welled with tears. Soulful voices singing lyrics that helms mothers as Queens would make any mama proud. Read more…
For each and every show that airs on VH1, a team of music supervisors here at the network have spent countless hours determining exactly what pieces of music best complement the footage that we have shot. This team—the CMI (Creative Music Integration) group—listen to thousands of songs each month in an attempt to figure out how best to utilize musical cues to reinforce the emotion and drama on shows like Mob Wives and Basketball Wives, so we thought it would be a cool idea to give you an inside glimpse into their world.
Each month, we’ll put together a list of all the songs that have been featured on the programs and promos that you see on VH1, which will be accompanied by two things: Specific commentary from the music supervisor as to why they selected a particular song for a particular scene in a show, as well as a Spotify playlist for you to sample these songs. Without further ado, here are all the songs that we featured on VH1 during the month of April!
Uprising: Hip-Hop & The L.A. Riots premieres on VH1 tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and is the latest entry in VH1’s award-winning Rock Docs series. The documentary film, narrated by Snoop Dogg, takes a look back at the riots that occurred in the wake of the Rodney King verdict exactly twenty years ago this week, and the role that hip-hop played in both predicting and ultimately chronicling the tension between the residents of South Central and the police.
The film premiered in Los Angeles last week, and our colleagues over at VH1 News got some 1:1 time with Arsenio Hall before the film began. He detailed for us a story of how Ice Cube passed along a cassette tape to him with an early version of “F*** The Police” on it, which led Arsenio to (ultimately unsuccessfully) lobby his corporate bosses to book N.W.A. on his eponymous talk show. It’s a fascinating anecdote, and one that reflects a time that’s increasingly hard to remember, a time when hip-hop hadn’t yet fully made its way into mainstream American culture.
We also put together a Spotify playlist for you below, Music from Uprising: Hip-Hop & The L.A. Riots, which contains most of the music that you’ll hear in the documentary film tonight, songs like N.W.A.’s aforementioned “F*** Tha Police,” Ice Cube’s “We Had To Tear This Mothaf***a Up” and Dr. Dre’s “The Day The N***** Took Over,” among others.
No one likes Monday mornings. From Bob Geldof and his Boomtown Rats to Susannah Hoffs and her Bangles, more than a few musicians have made fortunes off of songs written about the universally acknowledged worst day of the week. Last night’s episode of The Simpsons began with Bart Simpson‘s alarm clock going off at 7 a.m., leading him to sigh and say “Ehhhh Monday, here we go again.”
What happened next, though, was an incredible example of how visuals and music can come together to make magic. Set to the strains of Hot Chip‘s wistful “And I Was A Boy From School,” off their 2006 LP The Warning (and the #29 song of the last decade according to Pitchfork), Bart is shown going through the motions of yet another in a seemingly endless (and endlessly repetitive) week at school, soaked in a melancholic haze: The ritualistic humiliation he’s forced to endure includes moments of him getting bullied by Nelson, getting spilled on by Milhouse, and getting bored on the bus. Of course, things would soon go on to change for him in the episode entitled “A Supposedly Fun Thing Bart Will Never Do Again” (h/t to David Foster Wallace, natch), but the 66 seconds that this scene takes to play out are 66 of the best seconds that we’ve seen on television so far this year.
Today may indeed be Earth Day, but the date 4/20 means something else entirely to people who are proud owners of medical marijuana prescriptions (and maybe a few of you lawbreakers out there, too). April 20 is an unofficial national holiday for weed enthusiasts, and since we know that a few of you out there partake in the occasional puff puff pass session, we thought we’d take some time to update the list we created back in 2008 of Dope Tracks: The 20 Best Songs About Weed. That list focused exclusively on the rap community’s obsession with Mary Jane, so we thought we’d branch out a bit and put together a brand new Spotify playlist for you that incorporates the sticky-ickiest songs from not just the hip-hop universe, but also from classic rock, reggae, and folk music. So, without further ado, we present to you this brand new collection we’re calling Dope Tracks: The Top 25 Songs About Weed.
We’ve got our complete guide as to why we selected these songs for you below. Read more…
This week on That Metal Show, we were joined by Mick Brown, Jeff Pilson, and George Lynch of T&N, as well as Brian Tichy, who was our guest drummer for the second week in a row. We asked the one and only Slash to stop by and help us sort out this week’s TMS Top 5: Title Tracks.
“Highway to Hell” by AC/DC was a no-brainer, given its place as one of Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time, but choosing just one Black Sabbath song didn’t come as easy. Obviously, this is a very broad category and we could come up with 5 different versions of this list, but after shuffling the list around, we came up with the TMS Top 5 Title Tracks.