The year is running down, and like everyone else, we are bundling up our most memorable musical moments from the year into a slew of Best Of’s. Before we get to the more obvious lists — the best albums, the best songs — we thought we would have a little fun. First up: 9 delightful collaborations, made all the more so for their unexpectedness. We aren’t talking Watch The Throne-style of-course-they-would team-ups, we’re talking collaborations that we couldn’t in our wildest dreams have imagined or that we thought we would never see, like — well, these nine:
Barton Hollow is totally “an indie record much cooler than mine,” but more careful observer might have predicted this unlikely but delightful collaboration, as Swift began yammering about her fellow Nashville transplants The Civil Wars on twitter long before this was even a possibility. We, however, were left breathless upon learning that one of the day’s biggest pop stars had teamed-up with one of our favorite You Oughta Know acts — and for a song for such a pivotal moment in the Hunger Games movie, no less! Joy Williams harmonizing turns Taylor’s girlish coo haunting, and John Paul White‘s patient guitar plucking gets the whole thing swirling. See also:“The Last Time,” Taylor’s distressed duet with Gary Lightbody of Northern Ireland’s mostly absent as of late folk rock set Snow Patrol. Taylor is a slick machine when it comes to her music, and it was a surprise to see her reaching out of bounds for this one.
Hard to believe as it may be given the boom box beats and all the sing-rapping that resulted, Warrior is allegedly a tribute to the genre Ke$ha loves the most: rock and roll. If you really strain your ears, you may hear some of that “old hippie rock” in the breakdown of “Die Young.” You won’t have to try so hard with “Dirty Pop,” which features Iggy Pop, a true and blue rock star and someone Ke$ha has spent a lot of time talking about through the years. The joy she must have felt the first time she heard him call her “Wild Child” on her own song is evident. See also:“2012,” K$’s duet with fellow weirdos The Flaming Lips.
His rap name is an oxymoron. Physically, Big Sean is anything but big. His waifish, 5’8″ frame isn’t exactly gargantuan in stature, but there’s no denying that he has a royal flush in his hands. It’s a winning hand which, if played correctly, could turn him into Detroit’s biggest hometown hip-hop hero since Eminem.
Big Sean, born Sean Anderson, is no overnight success. From the time the 17-year-old rapped for Kanye West outside of WHTD-FM 102.7 in 2005 (if only that infamous 16 bars would surface) to his record deal in 2007 with West’s G.O.O.D. Music to 2009’s first installment of Finally Famous Vols. 1-3 mixtape to his 2011 major label debut, his rise to fame is something like that of the tortoise in “The Tortoise and the Hare.” Slow and steady wins the race. Read more…
It has to be written: Chris Brown and Rihanna are the new age Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston. The main ingredients of their similarities are rebellion and dysfunctional addictive love. Rihanna’s Oprah interview opened the floodgates for the pair’s openness about their friendship/not-so-secret-relationship that would soon follow. Whatever their relationship status is, “ain’t nobody’s business” (except the whole Internet). They’re now comfortable letting the world publicly see their love for one another through tabloids, Twitter and Instagram, and you will deal. By the way, Chris is back on Twitter, as we predicted he would be. It took all of a week. Read more…
He’s young, in love and a superstar. Chris Brown is unpredictable. In the past week alone he’s made headlines for deleting his Twitter account after a nasty exchange with comedian Jenny Johnson and matching his and her rolex watches. The “her” obviously being his boo–we think it’s safe to call her that–Rihanna. Now he’s leaving the public scratching their heads over a photo Rihanna posted to Instagram last night. Read more…
Earlier today, Chris Brown released a new song called called “W.T.F.I.M.L. (Where The F*ck Is My Lighter)” on his website Mechanical Dummy. “Another exclusive for his fans,” the dark and hazy, electro jam is somewhat worrisome at close listen, as this misplaced lighter seems to have Breezy unusually worked up. “I’m tired of all this shit, I want to light up,” he coos through a thick autotune at the chorus, desperate for a way to unwind. This sounds far more serious than a misplaced lighting implement, and so we feel obliged to ask: Everything okay over there, Breezy?
This Thanksgiving, we all have something to be thankful for. Just as you’re waking up from your post-meal nap to snag some second-plate leftovers from the fridge, Spike Lee’sBad 25 will hit ABC’s airwaves to make it’s nationally televised debut at 9:30/8:30c. Chronicaling Michael Jackson’s 45-million-copies-sold second album and corresponding tour, I can say with full conviction that the documentary is not to be missed. Trust me, I saw it twice. For those who may not be MJ fans or perhaps need some convincing, I present you with a list of 25 Reasons You Should Be Watching Spike Lee’s Bad 25. Not completely spoiler-free, however, I urge all the purists out there to tread lightly with this list if you’d prefer to see the film without advance info!
1. Mariah Carey makes an LOL-worthy joke about being a fuss-causing diva when she threatens to scold Clive Davis.
2. The film summons nostalgia for an era when music was successfully flourishing and record sales were at their peak. Ah, those were the days.
3. Viewers receive a non-verbal explanation of the infamous “Smooth Criminal” dance-lean.
4. Martin Scorsese watches his old footage and breaks down the making of the “Bad” video short film.
5. Quincy Jones’ wacky 80s sweater during an interview. You’ll see what I mean.
#Rihannaplane landed last night in New York, and while we wait on the final dispatches from our brave colleagues who were onboard, we thought we would take a moment to start looking at the album that has inspired the whole thing but been seemingly tucked a back seat pocket for the duration of the seven days. Who has time to talk dub-break downs when there’s Ace to be sipped and buses to catch! We get it.
But Unapologetic marks Rihanna’s seventh turn, and it brings to the table much to be reckoned with regarding quality and quantity and he-who-shall-not-be-named. There is also Rihanna’s confidence and swaggering deviance, and of course: “Diamonds.”
How ironic. Today is the release of Nicki Minaj‘s The Re-Up and Rihanna‘s Unapologetic. It’s not the first time the two pop stars have found themselves unintentionally gunning for the same trophy. At September’s VMAs Nicki won over Rih for Best Female Video to which Rih Rih sat by idly without offering one single hand clap. But Rihanna took home the biggest award of the night winning the VMA for “We Found Love.” But where was their camaraderie? Read more…
Quick! Hit play before this disappears. The long-awaited Rihanna and Chris Brown duet has leaked its way onto YouTube and with confirming previous evidence, that it is indeed good. Playing off Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel”, the two extract the hook “Ain’t nobody’s business but mine and my baby’s”, wrapping it around an infectious dance beat. Unlike “The Way You Make Me Feel”, however, these two are way past the wooing stage. Chris and Rihanna take turns spitting love odes for each other, even offering ”Let’s make out in this Lexus” — an uncomfortable phrasing considering the very real life situation the two were in that took place in the front seat of Chris’ car in 2009.
History aside, the song speaks for itself and it’s a good one. Check it out before it possibly gets whisked off the web til next week.
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…