by (@unclegrambo)

The Best Albums Of 2012 (According To Your Friendly Neighborhood VH1 Staffers)

VH1 Best Albums Of 2012

Last week, we successfully brought you the VH1 staff’s favorite songs of 2011 without any bloodshed, and we’re happy to report that no one’s brain exploded while trying to narrow down the amazing albums of 2012 into a concise list. Again, what VH1 staffers enjoyed in 2012 was a rich and vibrant tapestry of genres, created both by newcomers and veterans.

As far as consensus is concerned, there were 23 LPs that appeared on multiple ballots, but only 6 that appeared on four or more lists: Miguel‘s Kaleidoscope Dream (7 ballots), Emeli Sandé‘s Our Version Of Events and Frank Ocean‘s channel ORANGE (6 ballots apiece), Kendrick Lamar‘s good kid, m.A.A.d. city (5 ballots), Taylor Swift‘s RED and Macklemore & Ryan LewisThe Heist (each with 4 ballots).

Now, on with the show!
Read more…

by

16 Crunkest Songs Of 2012

2012 was the year of being or getting #turntup. Crunk songs encouraging partying, drinking and the good life were the soundtrack to turning up. French Montana‘s “Pop That” instructed women on how to, err, pop their booties at a party or club. It easily was one of the summer’s most popular anthems. In the same vein was Juicy J‘s “Bands A Make Her Dance” which suggests rolls of money secured by a rubber band will indeed make a girl dance. Not that we frequented the strip club or anything, but word on the street is strippers made this their unofficial theme song.

Other crunk songs had less to do with booty popping or stripping and more to do with intimacy–straight grown and sexy style. Take for instance Kelly Rowland‘s “Motivation” that inspired a body roll whether you were at your desk at work or in your car at a red light. Fun.‘s “We Are Young” isn’t your typical crunk song, however, if the DJ played this song at a party you witnessed the crowd going wild. So without further ado, here’s 16 of the year’s crunkest songs. Shout out to the artists for enabling our turned up ways. Read more…

by (@Lacezilla)

Gotye Leads The Way In Our Countdown Of The Top 15 Best Voices Of 2012

2012 has been an interesting year for the music business. As chart genres shift and technology continues to influence how and what we consume, in-flux trends seem to fly in out of nowhere.The viral sensation breakout star, for example. But can we go back to basics for just a moment? These people are here to entertain us and sing, right? Like, into microphones and send sound waves into the universe. Whether their songs permeated the charts all year or their pipes are ones to keep an eye out in the future, the following 15 voices were the most noteworthy in 2012.

1. Gotye
Having created what’s sure to be a sing-along bar anthem for years to come, Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” is a monster. Shout out to Kimbra for the solid assist, too!

2. Sia
In addition to being the voice behind David Guetta’s “Titanium” and Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” this year, Sia also wrote the lyrics and melody for Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and her talent should be recognized, damn it.

3. Kendrick Lamar
Through storytelling, K-Dot has the versatility to sound nervous, vulnerable and shrieky, macho and intimidating, soft and robotic, Compton tough, and instructively monotone.

Read more…

by (@lindseyweber)

From Last Night’s Soul Train Awards All You Need Are Miguel And Elle Varner

You might not have caught The Soul Train Awards on Centric last night. In a flurry of Sunday night programming (plus Liz & Dick Lifetime!) it would’ve been easy to skip the award show dedicated to awarding the best in hip-hop and R&B. If you did choose another route, here’s your tl;dw (That’s “too long, didn’t watch.”) rundown: Cedric the Entertainer hosted, Anthony Hamilton did “Lovely Day”, Leah LaBelle did Teena Marie’s “Square Biz”, Fantasia paid tribute to Aretha with “Don’t Play That Song For Me”. There was a New Edition tribute (in which Bobby Brown failed to thank his departed former wife Whitney Houston?), Keyshia Cole performed “Enough of No Love” from her new album Woman to Woman, and X-Factor winner Marcus Canty did Luther Vandross‘ “Never Too Much”. On the hip-hop side, 2 Chainz was there. Naturally.

Perhaps in the strangest moment, Tyrese‘s “Stay” won Song Of The Year, despite being released independently from his album, Open Invitation. It beat out John Legend, Trey Songz, Estelle, Wale, AND Usher–making it a true underdog. Tyrese most likely knew this, stating in his acceptance speech that today’s R&B is “insecure, since everyone is doing house and techno music” (a weird nod to Usher, perhaps?) But tonight, he continued, “Real R&B is winning”.

And now for the best performances…

by (@Lacezilla)

What I’m Thankful For: Rappers On Instagram

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.

“my current playlist”

Jay Electronica (@jayelectronica)

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.

Read more…

by

The Game Has Umpteen Features On His Forthcoming Jesus Piece Album, Listen As He Rattles Them Off

The Game‘s Jesus piece has a Jesus piece. Seriously, folks. Not everyone is happy with the cover art for his upcoming fifth studio album Jesus Piece, but his peers seem incredibly comfortable with the project judging by the gaggle of rappers, singers and comedians he has courted for guest appearances. Well, no one can accuse Game of fear of being out shined on his own album. When Game (entourage in tow) stopped by the VH1 offices, we thought it’d be fun to find out if he could rattle off all the features off the top of his head. Get comfortable because this may take a minute. Read more…

by

2 Chainz Is Down For The Cause Of Helping Convicted Felons Reinstate Their Voting Rights

2 Chainz helps convicted voters reinstate voting rights

All 2 Chainz may want for his birthday is a “big booty h-.” In real life, off wax, he’s passionate about felons reinstating their right to vote. Don’t you love when celebrities use their influence for a greater cause? And 2 Chainz being somewhat political tickles our fancy. Nearly 20 million Americans are convicted felons, including this dreadlocked rhyme spitter. Five million of those felons cannot vote, but of the remaining 15 million who can, only one in five actually do. Insert the “No Lie” rapper to the rescue. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

A$AP Rocky, Drake, Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz (Don’t Really) Have A “F***in’ Problem”

Will A$AP Rocky‘s endlessly delayed major label debut LONGLIVEA$AP come out while these four rappers are still the hottest in the game? That’s the least of Rocky’s worries, if there’s any truth to his new song “F***in’ Problems,” featuring a particularly trendy trio: Drake, Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz. Over a heavy-banging and almost sinister Noah ’40′ Shebib beat, the boys take turns filing their complaints. Rocky is bummed that he’s “never met a motherf***er fresh like me.” Drake’s not buying your excuses, instead he suggests: “Ain’t hear my album? Who you sleepin’ on? You should print the lyrics out and have a f***ing read-along.” Lamar asks that you “your friends need to be up to a par/ See my standards are pampered by threesomes tomorrow.” And as for 2 Chainz, he’s just here for the hook, where he and Drake double-up and lament their taste in “bad bitches.”

Let’s have a listen: Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Popdust’s No. 1 Pop Star Justin Bieber Reveals His “Favorite Things,” Likes Michael Jackson And Porcupines

Popdust has gone ahead and done the impossible: ranked the world’s greatest pop stars. Sure to account for the inspiring, bewildering, hilarious, and the naughty, they’ve created a comprehensive list they call the Popdust 40, described as “artists whose music we love and love lives we find fascinating, who shoot the videos and tap out the tweets that amuse us and who employ stylists to create the globe’s most interesting hair.” Included in their mix are fan nominated K-Pop sensations Big Bang to 2Chainz, Glambert  to Madonna, P!nk to Carly Rae, Skrillex and Ellie Goulding to Jay-Z and Beyonce, and so and and so forth. The list is thorough and exhaustive, and try as we might, we can’t think of anyone more deserving than these forty. And most of all we like that, instead of simply stopping when they hit Number One (spoilers ahead!), they went ahead and asked their No. 1 artist Justin Bieber to rank a few favorites of his own. Turns out Popdust’s King of Pop is a fan of that other King of Pop! Read more…