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!
Nicki Minaj gave a high energy performance of “Starships” and “Super Bass” at the NBA All Star game over the weekend. Beginning with her new single, “Starships,” Nicki bought euro-dance and flashing lights to the stage in a colorful performance. Surrounded by white and silver clad dancers, Nicki’s performance was full of joy and life as she and her crew bounded about the stage under flashing lights. After a quick wig chance from green to pink, Nicki also performed her smash hit “Super Bass,” to a roaring reception from the crowd. It seems like Nicki’s made a successful transition from rap to pop, and watching her on the futuristic set it’s easy to forget her darker beginnings as one of Kanye West‘s “Monster” collaborators.
Because December is a month full of year-end lists, for your blog-viewing pleasure, today I give you my favorite singles of 2011:
10.) “Blow,” Ke$ha
Yes, this single was featured on Ke$ha’s 2010 mini-LP, Cannibal, but the track didn’t fully explode (or blow-ow-ow) until the beginning of this year. Because “Blow” stayed away from Ke$ha’s polarizing sing-annunciate-rap formula, it became her first single that I couldn’t stop listening to.
9.) “Michael Jackson,” Das Racist
For some reason, underground/indie-minded hip-hoppers tend to shy away from slick production and repetitive hooks, but on “Michael Jackson” Das Racist embrace these elements with fantastic results.
8.) “Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys
Dan and Pat of The Black Keys add bass and keys to their two-man sound, creating one of the most fun rock tracks of the year (which will surely still be in heavy rotation come 2012).
Besides whistling, shouting-out famous musicians in song titles seems to be all the rage this year.
Here’s how they rank:
10.) “Marvin’s Room,”Drake
This dizzying, chilled-out tune seemingly has nothing to do with Marvin Gaye, except when you discover that the song was apparently recorded in a studio used by the late-great singer, aptly named “Marvin’s Room.”
9.) “Marvin & Chardonnay,” Big Sean (feat. Kanye West & Roscoe Dash)
Another ode to Marvin Gaye, this one, however, mentions him by name in the song’s lyrics.
8.) “The Lisa Lisa/Full Force Routine,” Beastie Boys
Not so much a song as it as an outro for the Beastie’s latest album, Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2. Regardless, both musical acts from the 1980’s (Full Force and Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam) are curiously shouted out.
7.) “I Need A Doctor,” Dr. Dre (feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey)
Don’t call Dr. Dre conceited for name-dropping himself in his own song title; he appears in less than a minute of the actual track.
Temperatures are nearing 100?F here in New York City. (They’re probably even higher if you’re reading from elsewhere.) And over the next thirteen days, the northern hemisphere will tilt even closer towards the sun. In short, it’s disgusting outside. You know what you need? Summer mixtapes! Here are your three best bets:
1. DJ Bedbugs, Teenpop, Lock, and Drop Vol. 1
Bedbugs, aka music writer and former Pitchfork contributor Dave Moore, combined 1998-2001-era teenpop instrumentals with 2009-2011 rap a cappellas for an LP-length re-examination (via recontextualization) of the last (so far) cultural peak in teenpop. Think of it as a high-concept mashup record, only way better than that description sounds. Bedbugs also helpfully offers a bit of background information about the mix. Read more…
What a whirlwind couple of days it’s been! We arrived in historic downtown Las Vegas late Wednesday afternoon for the O Music Awards and now, less than 48 hours later, it’s already time to leave. Boo!
Before we go, we thought we’d share a few snaps from last night’s festivities, in case you missed it. Some were taken by our friends at Getty Images, but we were also able to whip out our handy iPhone 4 to grab a few moments that the professional photographers didn’t catch. Like, for example, when we won $19 on slots! (Clearly, a personal highlight, but one we couldn’t resist sharing.)
One last thing: We managed to scoot away from our laptop in the press room JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME to catch this moment, which was pretty awesome (but not quite as awesome as when we met Rebecca Black). Hope you enjoyed our coverage!
Hello from Sin City! We’re out here live in historic downtown Las Vegas getting prepped for tonight’s first ever O Music Awards ceremony. We’ve drank our coffee, washed the smell of cigarettes from our clothes and put last night’s epic losses at the roulette wheel (note to self: tonight, definitely take the wise words of Wesley Snipes from Passenger 57 to heart) firmly behind us as we gear up for what promises to be a monumental evening.
Tonight’s show will be streaming live on the official O Music Awards site beginning at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT, but we’re not waiting until then to get started. Earlier this morning, we announced the winner of the Best Tweet category; congratulations to Kanye West (who, truth be told, was the only person nominated in this category, because, DUH!) on the win. Even more exciting than that is the news that Chiddy Bang is going to attempt to break the Guinness World Records title for “Longest Freestyle Rap” today. In order to do that, he has to RAP FOR OVER EIGHT HOURS without stopping. And guess what? We’ll be livestreaming the whole thing, starting at 2:30 p.m. ET today!