The time has come again to give thanks for the many blessings of the year and what better way to do so than to feast on turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie? They say the first Thanksgiving Day celebrations occurred when the Pilgrims and their Native American neighbors came together to break bread and celebrate the harvest. Whether or not the story is true, there’s no doubt that we as Americans have quite a lot to be thankful for, and high up on that list is all the great music that enriches our lives every day of the year. And while food and music are sometimes odd bedfellows, some musicians have looked towards the culinary arts. No, we’re not talking about artists named after food, though we have written about them, we’re talking about artists whose album covers feature artwork.<!–more–> From 1959’s punny Chuck Berry Is On Top, to The Darkness‘ 2012 album Hot Cakes, we’ve gathered together the most deliciously food-themed album covers in rock history as a visual appetizer for your Turkey Day feast. So take a gander to whet your appetite and try not to eat too much when you sit down with your loved ones this afternoon.
Thanksgiving provides United States citizens with a shared moment to express gratitude for the positive aspects of living here in general, but also to acknowledge, in a very specific way, the irreparable debt every one of us owes to the Native American peoples and their culture.
Straightaway, there’s the fact that Squanto and his fellow Patuxet tribesmen saved and selflessly taught the Pilgrims how to survive in the New World. After centuries of countless other contributions from there, let’s take today to honor how more recent givers of Native American descent have enriched American rock and pop music. Read more…
Thanksgiving is here and you’re no doubt already feeling thankful, for getting the day off from work! Later today you’ll be stuffed to the gills on turkey and mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie and washing it down with spiced wine and spiked eggnog and then the reality will sink in. You’re stuck here. With your family, who you love to death but who drive you crazy with their non-stop questions about whom you’re dating, why you didn’t get that promotion, why do you still live in that crappy neighborhood, when are you going to settle down and have kids and on top of that you’re really, really, really, uncomfortably full. Read more…
Angel Haze doesn’t usually celebrate Thanksgiving — “My family does not celebrate Thanksgiving. No Way. They’re total not down for that” — but a year of incredible output and ascendence, she’s “kind of setting up new traditions for myself,” she tells The Fader. It’s been a little more than a year since we first downloaded her impressive mixtape King, and since then we too have set up new traditions for ourselves in terms of what rap can be and should do. Read more…
He sat on this throne for only (part of) one song. The man has stamina.
It’s been a big week for R. Kelly and me. Well, maybe just me. It just so happened that this year’s Thanksgiving fell on the same week I attended Kells’ “Trapped in the Closet” premiere–and a chance question submission got him to tell me he loved me. Then the night before Thanksgiving I pushed my bus reservation back a day to attend the Single Ladies tour at Madison Square Garden. A Thanksgiving miracle, you could say. (Proving that miracles aren’t just for Christmas, especially if you’re a Jew.) I was again closer to Kells than ever before, and the man didn’t let down, putting on one hell of a show. Can you imagine him performing “Real Talk” live? I now can. I was so floored, in fact, that I proceeded to miss my early bus home the next morning. And while I’m also thankful that my hungry family waited to carve the turkey while I sat in traffic on a later bus, I can’t say it was all worth it. (Please don’t tell them that.)
This was after Kells personally counted the number of single ladies in the theater.
You see, for quite a while now, R. Kelly has managed to effectively combine everything I love about pop: music, theatrics, humor and camp. Kells’ overt sexuality mixed with his ability to churn out catchy hooks while also having an absurdest sense of humor about the entire thing? That’s rare. He’s able to produce emotion (“I Believe I Can Fly”, “I Wish”, “Relief”), awe (“Exit”, “When A Woman Loves”, “The World’s Greatest”), dance (“Step In The Name Of Love”, “Fiesta”, “Ignition Remix”), and laughs (“Sex In The Kitchen”, “Sex Weed”, “Sex Planet”) across his lengthy career span. And he’s not even finished: Let’s not even get into Trapped in the Closet. Because if we did, I would spend eons of words describing how Kells’ hip-hop Telenovela-meets-musical-meets-farce breaks new ground with every chapter R. releases. (Meanwhile, there are 85 apparently to come and a possible musical adaptation. Amen.)
Surreal, that all my greatest Kells moments would happen to land on Thanksgiving week. I guess, this year, that signals that I’ve found something to be thankful for. I mean, aside from the love of family and friends along with the fortune to have a platform on which to “Share My Love” (get it?) for Kells. That too.
I often find myself feeling grateful for the little things that make me pause to smile. These days, those things aren’t always as clichéd as rainbows and finding expected loose change in coat pockets. It’s also within the stuff we come across every day. That’s right: social media. Rappers happen to be more active on social media platforms than ever before, and I’m not just talking about vain Instagram selfies (Hi Rihanna). I’m talking about quirky posts that open the door to reveal something truly genuine or endearingly silly about the artist’s personality.
I’m not even going to tell you who to follow, because this post is about what makes me happy, but the Instagram antics of the following four rappers are notorious for making me giggle in public.
When he’s not sharing images of his LDN surroundings, dog, or super-wealthy lover Kate Rothschild, Jay Elec is likely to tout his spiritual acumen for his 47,000 followers. Be still my esoteric heart. The best part of these non-album related posts? They always generate hundreds of “but where’s your record?” comments. True love.
Thanksgiving is the one time of the year no one will judge you for your gluttony. Quality time with family is always joyous, but let’s keep it real: It’s the food that makes this holiday a common favorite. Nas is not as fond of the holiday as me,”They call it Thanksgiving, I call your holiday hell-day ’cause I’m from poverty, neglected by the wealthy,” he rapped on “Poison,” but that doesn’t keep me for being thankful for him creating a masterpiece this year. Read more…
In the 38 years since I was born, the music industry has shifted through a number of different methods of delivering their product to their customers. Vinyl, of course, has been the one format that has maintained relevance throughout my lifetime, but as a consumer, I have purchased music in 8-track, cassette, compact disc and, of course, digital form. Each of these mediums have their inherent benefits and drawbacks, but the one constant that tied them altogether was this: I could only (legally) listen to music that I, myself, had purchased. That meant that the my music universe was limited to the library of music that I had acquired over the years (which, in my case, was something that I spent tens of thousands of dollars building), and if I wanted to sample something new, I had to be willing to commit $10-$15 to purchase it. That all changed for me when I signed up for Spotify about a year ago July.
Of course, music subscription services like Rhapsody and eMusic have been around since the late 90s, but it wasn’t until Spotify publicly launched in the United States in July of 2011 that I decided to take the plunge and convert from being a music owner to a renter. Suddenly, for the cost of $9.99 a month, I now had access to millions upon millions of albums, old and new, that I could sample on demand. If I read a good review of a current artist on a music site that I trust, I can immediately listen to the album and decide for myself. Albums that I have always wanted to listen to but have been hesitant to purchase are now available to me. And best of all, thanks to Spotify’s semi-controversial yet undeniably brilliant decision to partner with Facebook, I can see what music my friends are listening to in real time. In short, the process of music discovery has been radically simplified thanks to the previous barriers to entry being removed, and despite the occasional gripes from music creators about payment concerns, Spotify has made this an incredible time to be a fan of music of any era. And that, my friends, is what I am most thankful for, musically, this holiday season.
If you’re on Spotify, be sure to follow VH1 for our frequent playlist updates featuring songs from all of your favorite shows. And, if you’re interested, you can always follow me, too!
While downing my fifth helping of mac and cheese with my sixth glass of wine, I realized how much I’m loving pop music this year. It could be too much turkey and carbs making me nostalgic, but despite many personal disappointments in 2012 – why, Amy Poehler and Will Arnette? why?! – the music scene has been steadily rocking my existence the past 11 months. All credit goes to YouTube and its community of awesome for constantly breathing new life into even the most overplayed hits by celebrating or ridiculing them just when I get bored. Give thanks with me to Google’s greatest acquisition by checking out my top three favorite, time-sucking viral music clips, covers and parodies. You’re welcome!
Happy Thanksgiving! While you’re savoring the day with friends and family and a big ole’ feast, we’re celebrating with a crew of our favorite artists at the table this year. Here’s what everyone’s bringing:
Bob Dylan knows where to begin: with a “Turkey Chase.” Once wrangled, the bird can be topped with George Benson‘s famous “Giblet Gravy.”
While that’s getting prepped, Snoop will set up the beverage station — “Gin and Juice,” anyone?
Rick Ross, the real star of this meal, will handle the hors devours: “More better, more cheddar” (“Here I Am”); “Air train and peanuts, it’s time to slide” (Yung Joc‘s “Brand New”); “Order crab legs with the heavy butter” (“New Bugatti”); some lobster bisque (“I Love My Bitches”); and let’s get an order of those lemon-pepper Wingstop chicken wings, because why not.