An iced coffee with brown sugar is the only request of the legend who spent the previous night indulging in cigars and Moet filled champagne flutes at his release party for his 10th studio album. “You love brown sugar don’t you?” the director of Visual Media at Def Jam jokes, responding to his Starbucks request. “Damn right,” he says with a smile as everyone in the room erupts with laughter. That’s the side of Nas the public rarely gets to see.
Nasir Jones is exactly what you’d expect—no fuss, polite, no big entourage, mellow and somewhat quiet—that is until you get him going on something he actually gives a damn about. By mid-afternoon he arrives to the VH1 office still feeling nice from all of the bubbly consumed at NYC’s Bagatelle the night before. He’s dressed in a white and black t-shirt plastered with Mr. T’s face on it, white shorts and black Gucci sneakers. For a rapper his jewelry is modest. The two gold chains he rocks are far from gaudy, and his wrists are adorned with a gold watch and one bracelet. That’s it. At 38 he doesn’t look much older than he did on 2001′s album cover for Stillmatic. You start to wonder if he physically ages.
Nas has been beaming as of late in preparation for album number 10, Life Is Good. On the day of his album’s release,VH1 sat down with the legendary emcee to discuss the music and what makes life great. For Nas, Life Is Good represents an honest place of where he’s been and where he’s at today. The good, bad and ugly. One of the most introspective songs, “Bye Baby,” is about his ex-wife Kelis, the one whose green wedding dress he’s holding on the cover. In the song he raps, “Listen, could you imagine writing your deposition?/Divorce Lawyer telling you how this thing gonna be ending?/With you paying out the a–, and I’m talking half/Not some but half. No serious, half/Half of your soul, half of your heart you leaving behind.” Nas bears his soul over a Salaam Remi & 40 beat. Read more…
Go shorty, it’s your birthday, we gon’ party like it’s your birthday. Not only did 50 Cent drop 5 (Murder By Numbers) for free today, it’s the Queens rapper’s 36th birthday. Nine years ago he rose to massive fame with his debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ at the age of 27. Along with his crazy story of being shot nine times and his distinctive flow from having his jaw wired shut, 50′s success was also partly due to his ongoing beef with Ja Rule that ultimately ended Ja’s very popular career. Fifty’s war with the Murder Inc. rapper eventually simmered out, but 50 saw an opportunity in beef with his peers–if he was constantly dissing others on wax then he’d remain relevant because people would be listening. Thus began 50′s countless diss records and feuds. It’s only right that we celebrate his birthday by highlighting the top 10 beefs of his career. Happy Beef-day, Fiddy! Read more…
When you’re one of the flyest badgirls on the planet like Rihanna, you don’t sweat the small stuff like having a pop singer and rapper throwing subliminal shots at each other on Twitter over you. For Memorial Day weekend Rihanna hung out (and held hands) with Drake down in Miami, according to NecoleBitchie.com. The two were in Miami to shoot French Montana’s “Pop That” video. Rihanna sure does have a forgiving heart. It was just a couple of weeks ago folks were up in arms over Drake’s alleged diss about Rihanna in his verse on 2 Chainz’s “No Lie.” While she was schmoozing with Drake, who has confessed his love for this woman a million times before, Chris Brown and Meek Mill seemed to be throwing jabs back and forth on Twitter. Yes, you read that right. Rihanna’s in Miami partying it up with Drizzy, meanwhile Chris Brown and Meek Mill are engaging in petty beefs on social media. All over Rihanna. Play on, player! Read more…
Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer?s Spotlight with us. This feature will include three things —sometimes related, sometimes not!— that Jim is obsessing over this week. Be sure to tune into the Top 20 countdown when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT tomorrow morning, coming at you from the lovely environs of Long Branch, New Jersey.
For years I?ve been compiling Fourth of July mixtapes and playlists. Sometimes I keep them thematic, and sometimes it?s just about choosing tracks that will keep the backyard barbeque rockin?.
?Good? by Better Than Ezra
Depending on how you listen to this classic ?90s modern rock ditty, you could either take it as joyous song of freedom, or a sad breakup tune. Either way, Better Than Ezra?s Kevin Griffin points out that the only time he?ll possibly call or write his ex is on?you got it?the Fourth of July.
In what appears to be a regular column, Kelis gets her post-Imus discourse on in the latest issue of the newish, hip lass mag Missbehave. The piece titled "Kelis On…Name Calling," finds Mrs. Nas raging against political correctness. "If everyone just said what they thought, maybe we could move on, get past it all and really be free," Kelis writes in one of her more reasoned statements. One to practice what she preaches, Kelis indeed says what she thinks throughout the piece, taking an extreme stance to seemingly prove a point. "How about if a straight man calls another straight man ‘faggot?’" she wonders. "Is it more offensive if the man is gay?" That probably can only be answered on a case-to-case basis: does it hurt more as a gay man to be talked about behind your back or to your face?
Her most outrageous statement, however concerns our very own commander-in-chief.