B.o.B. continues to think outside the box with his sophomore album, Strange Clouds. Elements of various musical genres —from hip-hop to jazz to country— can be heard throughout. The singer, songwriter, rapper and producer skyrocketed to success with his two monster smashes “Nothin’ On You” and “Airplanes”, both crossover tracks that featured somewhat unlikely artists singing the hook (Bruno Mars and Hayley Williams, respectively). Based on how commercially successful each of these songs were, it seems as if B.o.B. is eager to try replicate their success, as he’s recruited a number of collaborators for tracks on his new album. Whether they are household names like Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift, or newcomers like Lauriana Mae, the variety of artists on the album is quite impressive. We ranked each of the songs that feature other artists, and it’s not what you’d expect.
9. “Strange Clouds” feat. Lil Wayne – We don’t know what’s up with Weezy, but his flow hasn’t quite been the same since he got outta the joint. A song about partying, drinking and smoking all night has to have an element to it that makes the listener want to partake in the fun. We don’t know if it’s believable here.
8. “Out Of My Mind” feat. Nicki Minaj: We’re getting an outer space vibe on this one. And is it just us or did B.O.B. slightly sound like Ludacris? Either way, Nicki does what she does best on this track. She plays with different animated voices, she raps, she sings. Repeat. It’s fine, but it’s nothing transcendent.
7. “Arena” feat. Chris Brown and T.I.: It’s Chris Brown and T.I., folks! Not sure that much else needs to be written other than with this trio we’re certain it will be a fan favorite.
The saga continues like a played out soap opera between Azealia Banks and T.I. In the latest episode of Azealia/Azalea gate, Bossip reports that T.I. stopped by Chicago’s Morning Riot to promote his new album Trouble Man, and once again he commented on the “beef” between his artist Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks. In a non-politically correct move T.I. added his two cents. When asked about the girl drama T.I. responded with a rather interesting response:
“Now you see the thing is about that. Guess what. I didn’t even know nothing about it to just now. I ain’t even see it. Now I know they going through they thang. But the fact that she’s speaking upon me and mine. And I never, I ain’t even see it. That is what I consider and excuse my language, but that’s bitch sh*t. I’m a man. You ain’t got no business addressing me. You got a man, get him to address me and he and I can speak on it. But you and me – naw, keep dealing with that woman. Y’all handle that. Me and you we ain’t got nowhere to go with that. I do what men do.
Everyone needs to just breathe. Remember: “No comment” is a sufficient answer. Use it; it is your friend. Not one to stand by idly while being talked about, Banks took to Twitter and replied to T.I. directly. And she did not bite her tongue, calling T.I. both a clown and a snitch.
There’s been a great deal of incessant chatter about rap newcomer Iggy Azalea. While some question the 21-year-old Australian rapper’s authenticity, others know all the words to her latest single “Murda Bizness.” Iggy first made a few splashes on the Internet after the release of her video “Pu$$y.” To date, “Pu$$y” has over 835,000 YouTube visits. In September 2011 Ignorant Art dropped as her first official mixtape. “My World” directed by Alex/2Tone was the next video released that garnered Iggy the much needed attention to get the ball rolling on her career. Her high fashion look and undetectable accent was captivating. People wanted to know who the latest white female rapper to hit scene was. She wasn’t anything like Kreayshawn. Her southern influence, apparent in her sound, set her apart from the competition–if there ever was any. People quickly wondered if she had the chops to break through the genre dominated by black males.
This year, Iggy’s career hit big. In January, she was signed to Interscope Records by none other than Jimmy Iovine himself. According to Iggy, she restructured her deal so she could sign with Grand Hustle, T.I.’s label, having the best of both worlds. In April, XXL featured her on their Freshman Class list. With a nod from the self-proclaimed King of the South, coupled with XXL’s stamp of approval, Iggy seems to be on her way to a skyrocketing career. But what about longevity? Does she have what it takes to weather the ever-evolving world of hip-hop?
The 2012 SXSW Music Festival is in the books, y’all. Your friendly neighborhood VH1 Tuner team was down in Austin for five days, but it felt more like a month (in a good way!). By that, we mean that Austin is a very inviting place, the kind of city that is big enough that you don’t get bored by it, but small enough that you get familiar with the layout quickly. In short, by the time we left the city on Sunday afternoon, it sort of felt like home.
If you’ve never been down to Austin —this was actually the first time down there for both myself and our ace photographer, Jen Marigliano— we wanted to give you a vibe of what the city is like during the festival. So, in this special SXSW edition of our long-running Music Seen feature, you’ll get a sense of what we experienced during our short trip to the Lone Star state. You’ll see some of the artists that we spent time with (like B.o.B, T.I., Neon Hitch, Train, Kimbra and more!), the crowds of people who fly in from all over the world to see live music at intimate venues, and how music truly takes over this awesome college town for six days each and every March. Enjoy!
“Here Ye, Hear Ye” was one of the first songs that Tip recorded after he got sprung from the Big House back in October, and it’s a real window into T.I.’s state of mind during the 11 months that he spent incarcerated in the federal prison system (“Still baffled how my life unraveled / In the meantime time just traveled.”) As for how it came together, Pharrell told Hot 97′s Funkmaster Flex back in October that “My man came home and I just sent him something. And he got to it. You know what it is? He just got home. He’s in training. He’s getting ready. These are pull-ups, push-ups for Tip.”
Sometimes “movements are bigger than single records,” says Jay-Z in Young Jeezy’s new biographical film, A Hustlerz Ambition; a comment that can easily summarize the Snowman’s rise to fame. Last night, in two theaters at New York City’s Landmark Sunshine Cinema, the documentary tied to the release of Jeezy’s fourth album, Thug Motivation 103: A Hustlerz Ambition, was unveiled and screened for the very first time by Def Jam and the man of the hour himself. Chronicling the drug-slinging trap rapper’s evolution, the film documents both sides of Jeezy’s (real name: Jay Jenkins) personal and professional lives, focusing on painful, comedic and triumphant moments while on his path to becoming a bonafide player in the rap game.
Making the audience privy to many intimate details of his life, the film delves into Jeezy’s childhood, how his uncle “Bo” first gave him forty dollars to flip at age 11, the divorce of his military father and substance abusing-mother (who he later saw buy and be high on crack), living with his grandmother in Hawkinsville, Georgia and utilizing her stove to dominate the streets, fighting for paternity rights to his son, and battling severe health problems like Bell’s Palsy and polyps on his vocal cords. While the glimpse into his personal history is informative and helps to understand his overall story, the film, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and directed by Chris Robinson, is mostly geared toward shedding light on Jeezy’s relentless drive to achieve everything he wants in life, plus much more. Read more…
VH1′s Top 20 Video Countdown is premiering Kid Rock‘s video for his new song, “Care,” featuring Angaleena Presley & T.I this weekend, and it’s just in time to get you into the spirit of giving this holiday season. The video is cast in black and white and features a moody looking Kid Rock perched in front of a brick wall, crooning and playing guitar. Footage of Kid Rock jamming is interspersed with images of the everyman, and the message is clear — there are people suffering. Kid Rock’s lyrics urge us to “care” about the less fortunate, with lines like, “I can’t change the world and make things fair, the least that I can do is care.” It’s an anthem for the holiday season to give the more fortunate some serious perspective, championing hope for empathy and humanity.
The big winner at the fifth annual BET Hip-Hop Awards last night was, as we predicted, “Look At Me Now,” taking home Best Hip Hop Video, Reese’s Perfect Combo Award, Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse (Busta Rhymes), and People’s Champ Award powered by Verizon. But the performance of the night went to future VH1 reality star T.I.. Sure, we loved the cypher, and we will always cheer for a performance by Heavy D, no matter how inexplicable, but T.I.’s homecoming performance won the night.
We may be getting a bit ahead of ourselves here. The two-song Atlanta-repping performance kicked off with Young Jeezy, ringed by fire, spitting his new single “F.A.M.E.,” for which T.I. joined him onstage, providing his guest verse without stealing the spotlight. Then he kicked into “I’m Flexin’,” and even without support from Big K.R.I.T. he absolutely killed it, even jumping into the crowd and welcoming attendees to his city, even as they were welcoming him home from prison. Attention, Atlanta: your king’s back.
Last night, T.I. joined Taylor Swift onstage at Atlanta’s Phillips Arena for a rendition of his own “Live Your Life,” with the country-pop singer providing Rihanna’s hook. That duet (above) was merely the cherry atop a huge weekend for the until-recently incarcerated rapper. Friday night, he released “I’m Flexin’,” his first post-prison single, featuring (and produced by) Big K.R.I.T., then went straight to Club Esso for a “Welcome Home” celebration that doubled as a BET Hip Hop Awards pre-party. After that ceremony, which will premiere on BET at 8PM ET on Tuesday, October 11, taped on Saturday, T.I. co-hosted an after-party with Diddy, and even served as a mediator when his co-host responded poorly to an attendee’s taunts (the guest bragged about specifically not drinking C?roc, for which Diddy is a spokesman).
The rapper’s appearance at Swift’s Sunday night show, then, was the end of a very long weekend. T.I. has always been a hard-working MC, but he seems doubly determined to put in work after his recent prison stay. We’re looking forward to looking behind the scenes of this period when his reality show starts airing next year. Read more…
Ever since the first time that someone decided to break out a turntable at a block party in the Bronx, scandal and hip hop have gone together like peanut butter and jelly. From notorious murders and untimely deaths to sleazy sex scandals and high-profile arrests, rarely does a week go by without some sort of drama going down in the hip hop community. On VH1?s 40 Most Shocking Hip Hop Moments, which debuts this Sunday, September 18, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, we?ll count down the most mind blowing, controversial, stunning and horrific moments ever.
VH1′s 40 Most Shocking Hip Hop Moments is a two-hour special, which will immediately be followed by the television premiere of our latest Rock Doc, Planet Rock: The Story Of Hip Hop And The Crack Generation. It’s a night that hip hop fans won’t want to miss! To get a taste of what it will be like, follow along to watch comedian and familiar VH1 talking head Donnell Rawlings share his personal thoughts on what the most shocking thing about hip hop is.