While drastic weight loss for an upcoming role is common in television and movies, the music industry has witnessed its share of body transformations by chart-topping performers. For some, shedding pounds and adding muscle is gradual–or strongly related the a sudden influx of hormones (hello, puberty) they’ve been hit with. For others, the conscious decision to go for the bulge comes later, leaving us stunned by their shocking new looks.
Drake brought his Would You Like a Tour? to Brooklyn on Monday night, performing at the Barclays Center as the spirit of Hov and Jason Kidd watched over him. Because it was a few days after his 27th birthday, and New York is the best place to celebrate any occasion, Drizzy threw himself a party during the show. And he was generous enough to invite 18,000 of his closest friends!
Pharrell and Busta Rhymes cooked up a strip club/club banger for the summer with “Twerk It,” the lead single from Busta’s upcoming 10th album. There’s not many successful rappers who can mesh rap-reggae into something that goes hard, but Busta delivered. Read more…
On the eve of Nas‘ Life Is Good release, he celebrated like any Don would–with champagne, cigars and friends. Nas had a busy night with a performance of “Daughters” on the Late Show with David Letterman, an interview with Hot 97′s Funkmaster Flex and his album release party at Bagatelle in NYC. When you’re a legend of Nas’ status there’s bound to be a lot of love in the room from peers. Throughout the night he shared laughs with Swizz Beatz, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, Q-tip and Jermaine Dupri. Also in attendance were Beyonce, Angie Martinez, Tyson Beckford and others.
Its been four years since Nasty Nas’ last solo album, the controversial Untitled. Early reviews are already pegging Life Is Good as one of the best in his catalog, and potentially one of the best albums of the year. His road to the happy space he’s in of living his best life (word to Oprah) has been one of overcoming many trials and tribulations. But the glow in his eyes at last night’s release is the look of a man that has triumphed. The look of success and longevity. Check out our gallery of a few pictures from last night’s celebration.
Remember when we said all the boys go crazy over Rihanna? Let’s just say it seems to be more truth than jest. In the latest saga of guys fighting–literally this time–over RiRi, TMZ reports that Chris Brown was injured last night in a brawl with Drake’s entourage at NYC’s WIP nightclub. All the details of exactly what happened are still unfolding, but according to Brown’s tweet, a bottle was thrown by Drake’s crew that hit Brown in the chin. NYDailyNews.com claims it all began when Brown sent over a bottle of champagne to Drake as a sort of peace offering. Drake allegedly returned the bottle of bubbly with a note reading, “I’m still f*cking Rihanna.” Lawdhavemercy. Imagine Drake (or any rapper) taking out an ink pen at the club to write a note. We need to see the receipts on that one.
Brown rushed to Twitter tweeting a picture of the nasty gash along with a few choice words, “How u party wit rich n**** that hate? Lol… Throwing bottles like girls? #shameonya!” Shortly after the tweet was removed. When the cops arrived to the scene at the wee hours of the morning both crews had already left. Clearly being international superstars means nothing when you have homies that are always down for whatever. Read more…
DJ Khaled has the most incredible musical superpowers because only someone superhuman can consistently get all of the hottest artists on one track. This go ’round he brought together Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross for the Colin Tilley directed “Take It To The Head.” Not to mention Drake, Busta Ryhymes and Baby (aka Birdman) make cameos. Next time there’s a hip-hop beef, we must call Khaled. He can get everyone toghether! Complete with crashing buses, graffiti and fire, the video is all about destruction. If the setting looks familiar perhaps it’s because you’ve been to Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. Per Stereogum.com, the set was in fact shot at the Earthquake ride at the popular amusement park. Now, if the rappers could’ve rapped their verses while on the ride, that would have been impressive. Read more…
Ashanti’s back! Resurfacing from her nearly four year hiatus–her last album Declaration dropped in 2008– the once crowned princess of R&B has something to prove. Along with gearing up for her fifth studio album Braveheart, Ashanti revealed a smoking hot new look at her live performance on Jimmy Kimmel in LA. Her long curly burgundy red and black tresses bounced freely as she performed “The Woman You Love,” the explosive single from her upcoming album to be released June 19. Her latest single is true to form– an amazing beat with lyrics that any woman whose been in love with no reciprocity can relate to. It doesn’t hurt that Busta Rhymes delivers an incomparable flow that only Busta could. In her performance she croons over the instruments, pleading to be the woman he loves. After making her case, she decides she’s fed up and sings, “You’re just no good.” Don’t mess with a woman scorned. With lyrics like that we wonder if the Braveheart title resembles her need to be brave to love again, or a warning to future boyfriends that he’ll need a brave heart to
deal get with her. Ashanti looks great and sounds good. Girlfriend has even been working on her dance moves. Work, girl! Read more…
When I was a child, my dad and I used to decorate the Christmas tree together and sing “The Little Drummer Boy,” so my nostalgic recollections have me a little bit miffed at Justin Bieber‘s new take of the classic Christmas carol. The Biebs teamed up with rapper Busta Rhymes for the tune—now simply titled “Drummer Boy”—for a remix of that’s fat-beated, bass-lined and rapped-over. A very strange incarnation indeed.
Last week, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of A Tribe Called Quest’s seminal album, The Low End Theory, and after spending quality time with the LP, it became clear that many artists may have snagged sonic gems from the trendsetting hip-hop quartet over the years. If you’re a fan of rap music, you already know that sampling and re-working existing songs is commonplace in the creative process; similar to contemporary art’s idea of the “readymade,” producers will lift elements from one song and add them to a new canvas to re-envision their use. But what happens when the same thing is done with lyrics?
One little-known fact: Lil’ Wayne’s“A Milli” is a slowed-down sample of one of Phife’s lines from a remix of “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo” off Tribe’s first album, 1990′s Peoples’ Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Sometimes referred to as swagger-jacking, a rapper re-purposing the bars of artists before him or her can in other circumstances be seen as a salute-beckoning sign of respect. And in Tribe’s case, it should be! In addition to sitting down with ATCQ for their first joint interview since 1998, we also got to chat individually with in-and-out, behind-the-scenes group member Jarobi White to scoop his brains for memories on the group’s incredible second album. In honor of its Album-Versary, we present you with Jarobi’s exclusive interview clips, and the Top 5 Recycled Lines From The Low End Theory.
Aaliyah’s mystique was transcendental even before she tragically passed ten years ago today, so it’s not surprising that the impression she left and music she made continues to cause a rippling impact on music culture. For fans, her music was the backdrop to their lives, scoring everything from fun-filled rooftop dance parties to the moments when boots were knocked. Her peers in the music industry held her in the highest of regards, and those close to her have, for years, commented on her spirit’s ability to penetrate and inspire.
Having never met R&B’s trail-blazing beauty, Young Money’s Drake tweeted to Aaliyah just last night, nodding at his belief that she is, like an angel, actively guiding him through his career. But Drake is certainly not alone in sending messages out into the ether to celebrate the late singer; in an era where grieving is often done in a public forum, we’re lucky to be privy to a layer of digital mourning that, before social media, we may not have experienced. We’ll be adding to this post throughout the day, so take a look at the tweets and iconic photos below from the likes of close collaborators like Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, and more. And please, by all means, feel free to share your memories and tweets of Aaliyah with us in the comments as well.