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.
The 35 Greatest Kanye West Songs (In Honor Of His 35th Birthday)
35. “Who Gon Stop Me”
The production is insane, Kanye and Jay’s verses are a mere bonus.
34. “Hell of A Life”
Yeezy’s darkest moment has him falling in love with a porn star. Naturally, it doesn’t end well.
For the dream chasers out there, “I wonder/if you know/what it means/ to find your dreams.”
32. “All Falls Down”
We can’t help but think of Stacey Dash every time we hear this one.
31. “Gotta Have It”
Outside of the tambourine in the opening, there’s a whole lot of flossing in this one track. 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!
VH1 SHOWS PLAYLIST: APRIL 2012
(Listen to the playlist on Spotify)
B.o.B “So Good” in Single Ladies Promo
Like a school girl geeking out over the boy band heartthrobs Immature of the 90s, I’m having a moment with the premiere of Brandy’s “Put It Down” featuring Chris Brown. Written by Sean Garrett and produced by Bandgladesh, on the first single from her forthcoming album Two Eleven, Brandy has all the ingredients necessary for a hot song — a booming beat, her deep distinctive voice, sexy lyrics and a guest feature from one of the biggest male pop singers. Don’t call it a comeback, call it a reminder. Brandy is showing folks why she’s been in the game for over 15 years. After the song dropped Brandy tweeted to her fans:
Both artists traditionally known for singing are giving rappers a run for their money in Brandy’s hot new record. At the beginning of her second verse, Bran tries her hand at rapping, again (we haven’t forgotten about that rapping alter ego), but only briefly, “I hope the chivalry ain’t dead to you boy ’cause I’m grown. Like to pull up in that, come up with that, when I see what I want,” she raps before jumping right back into her soulful signature sound. And Chris’ rhymes aren’t too shabby either. One of our favorite lines: “I’m sipping on that Brandy, this liquor comes in handy.” Simple, yes, but using her name as a double entendre was a nice touch.
In last night’s Behind the Music, Brandy’s brother said she is finally listening to her inner voice and doing what she wants. If this is any indication of where her album is going, all we can say is, Brandy’s back!
New Music: Brandy x Chris Brown “Put It Down” [Rap Radar]
[Photo: Getty Images]
This week on Behind the Music, we put the spotlight on the life and times of R&B superstar Brandy. In this special sneak peek of the show’s entire first act, we first meet Brandy while she’s on the set of “It All Belongs To Me,” her most recent collaboration with Monica. The video was shot just days after Brandy’s role model and close confidant, Whitney Houston, passed away, and the emotional turbulence that she was going through at the time is evident on her face. It’s a powerful moment, just one of many in this week’s episode.
Watch this week’s episode of Behind The Music on VH1 tomorrow night, Wednesday 4/25, at 9 p.m. ET/8 CT.
Log off your Facebook, it’s time to watch the brand new video from Brandy and Monica, “It All Belongs To Me”! We’re super psyched to debut the first video from this pair of superstar ladies since 1998′s “The Boy Is Mine.”
Lensed by A-List hip hop video director Chris Robinson, the clip shows the one-time rivals teaming up together to exact revenge on a couple of guys that did them dirty. Thematically, the song recalls Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable”, but “It Belongs To Me” ups the ante significantly; instead of encouraging their exes to put their ish in a box “to the left, to the left”, Brandy and Monica instead instruct their men to leave all of the things they were gifted —their cars, their clothes, those rings, and, most importantly, THAT MACBOOK!— exactly right where it is. And the video takes it even one step further when the girls load up a vintage Porsche that Monica had bought her man with …wait for it… explosives (and then, of course, blow that piece sky high). Hell hath no fury, indeed!
On Monday night at 11 p.m. on VH1 and right here on VH1 Tuner, we will be premiering the brand new music video for Brandy & Monica‘s “It All Belongs To Me.” The video was directed by veteran hip hip auteur Chris Robinson and, as the women describe it, has a Waiting To Exhale and Thelma And Louise vibe to it.
In this exclusive interview, Brandy and Monica discuss shooting the video for the pair’s first song together since 1998. “I love how the video represents a friendship between the two of us,” Monica tells us. “Just us being there for each other in both of our circumstances.”
On Monday night at 11 p.m. on VH1 and right here on VH1 Tuner, we will be premiering the brand new music video for Brandy & Monica‘s “It All Belongs To Me.” This marks the first time that Brandy and Monica have paired up on the same track since 1998, but this time around, the ladies are allies, not enemies.
In this exclusive interview, the two vocal heavyweights discuss how the track came together, as well as the message that they’re hoping to send to young women. “It’s empowering,” Monica tells us. “It should make you feel good. Even if he made you feel wrong, we’ll make you feel right.”
Big news! On March 5, VH1 and VH1 Tuner will be exclusively premiering the brand new video from Brandy and Monica, entitled “It All Belongs To Me”, at 11 p.m. ET. The song is the duo’s first since the 1998 smash, “The Boy Is Mine”, which, according to the Billboard charts, was the #7 song of the 1990s. That song was all about the girls battling, but this time around, the girls are teaming up to take on a no good dirty Lothario type. You’ll have to wait until Monday to see the whole thing, but we were able to get our hands on this :30 sneak preview as something to whet your appetite. Bon appetit!
Full press release, which just hit the wires, is below:
IT BELONGS TO US! VH1 PRESENTS THE EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE MUSIC VIDEO OF MONICA AND BRANDY’S NEW HIT SINGLE “IT ALL BELONGS TO ME”
First Video Collaboration For The Pair Since Their 1998 Grammy Award-Winning Hit Single “The Boy Is Mine”
Premieres on VH1 and VH1.com on Monday, March 5 At 11PM EST ET/PT
NEW YORK, NY– March 2, 2012 – Grammy-Award winning R&B songstresses Monica and Brandy belong to VH1 on Monday, March 5 with the exclusive premiere of the music video for their new single, “It All Belongs To Me” Monday, March 5 at 11PM ET/PT on VH1 and VH1.com. This premiere commemorates the first time the R&B superstars Monica and Brandy have reunited for a video since their 1998 Grammy Award-Winning hit collaboration “The Boy is Mine.” “The Boy Is Mine” held the #1 spot on the Hot 100 Chart for 13 weeks and won the Grammy for R&B Performance by A Duo or Group. It was declared the best-selling song of 1998.
VH1 Divas Salute the Troops, airing Sunday at 9/8c, just got a little more interesting with Snooki and The Situation joining the lineup as presenters. Also presenting are VH1′s Brandy, hottie Marisa Miller and comedian Jeffrey Ross.
Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart are new additions to the performer lineup, which includes Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Keri Hilson, Paramore, Sugarland and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. Kathy Griffin will serve as host. Full press release after the jump.
In other Divas-related goodness, Old Navy is calling upon its customers to help keep U.S. troops stationed around the world connected to their loved ones at home during the holidays. As part of Operation Phone Home, minutes can be bought in-store or online at OldNavy.com from Dec. 3-9. Get all the details.
Kim Kardashian is in the news again today, and it’s not because of her giant ass – but because she might be a giant ass. Singer Brandy‘s mother Sonja Norwood has sued Kim, after she allegedly racked up over $120,000 of charges on Norwood’s AMEX. Apparently Kim was Brandy’s stylist in 2004 (wait, what? She’s a stylist?) and Norwood gave her the credit card to make one purchase for her daughter. But Kim supposedly passed on the number to her sisters, and the trio used it for $62,793.83 worth of purchases in 2006 and $57,841.82 in 2007. For those of you without calculators, that puts the final tally at $120,635.82. The Kardashian sisters even apparently spent thousands at their own (horribly named) boutiques, Dash and Smooch.
Kim also once dated Brandy’s brother Ray-J – her partner in that sex tape that she loves to hate on – which may have also rubbed Mama Norwood the wrong way. And why wouldn’t she just cancel the card after she noticed over $60,000 worth of charges on the thing?! Honestly, we’re glad that she didn’t, because we can’t wait to see this play out in front of a judge. How is Kim going to afford the sexy outfits she’ll need for court without that Norwood cash flow? [Page Six]
Kim Kardashian: Not Desperate, Annoying
Kim Kardashian & Reggie Bush are Poseurs
Did Kimmy Get Nasty with Reggie In the Photo Booth?