Over at VH1 we feel like proud parents when one of our You Oughta Know alums goes on to conquer the world. Not to mention it gives us #humblebrag(ging) rights of having introduced a fairly unknown artist before they blew. Ed Sheeran is the latest from the YOK family to get his well deserved shine. Ed will share a stage with his fellow British crooner Elton John at this year’s Grammys. Ed broke the news by tweeting, “I’Il be playing at he Grammys on the 10th of feb, singing a duet of one of my songs with Elton John, very excited about that!” This is what they call legend ish. Read more…
The critical acclaim the Compton newcomer has received from good kid, m.A.A.d city has Kendrick Lamar gassed. He lived up to the hype and delivered one of the year’s best albums, thus his confidence is understandably high. It’s level of highness has him thinking he can spar with Nas and Jay-Z in the studio. GQ’s Mark Anthony Green profiled the 25-year-old rapper and here’s what we learned:
Kendrick’s dad never got back his dominoes.
All the scenarios in GKMC are real, and actually took place in one day.
Sherane is a real person. In case you were wondering, her name’s not Sherane. “Hopefully she’s doing good, you know, but karma is a bitch.” Read more…
Songwriter Skylar Grey is breaking out on her own with a little help from Eminem. “C’mon Let Me Ride” is a girl’s plea for her crush to let her ride…his bicycle. Only this boy and his two-wheel choice of transportation lives in the trailer park. Skylar’s grunge, edgy vibe causes her to stick out like a sore thumb from the other girls in the neighborhood with their faux tans and skimpy bikinis. Read more…
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…
50 Cent didn’t take much of a gamble with “My Life,” the first single off Street King Immortal which he describes as his “recovery, his comeback.” The song is radio-friendly and carefully calibrated for success, with features from a hip hop legend (that’d be: Eminem) and a chart-topping pop star (cue: Adam Levine) and a thoughtful role-out strategy that includes a radio premiere yesterday, a live-debut on The Voice last night (see below) and this geared up new video.
The big-budget video finds the song’s stars on the lam, in fancy cars and on foot as they run from helicopters and spotlights. “The video is kind of abstract; it’s kind of metaphoric in a sense, like the paranoia of feeling like we’re being chased,” Eminem told MTV News last month, explaining that they’re running to keep their personal lives safe from fame and fortune’s trappings because, “Whether it’s true or not, it’s kind of how we feel.”
50 Cent is a smart business man. For his new single “My Life” featuring Eminem and Adam Levine, the choice of his co-collaborators screams dollar signs. Somewhere around a round conference table 50 Cent told his team, “Get me the two hottest guys out right now–a rapper and singer–and we’re going to make a boatload of money.” Well played, 50. Read more…
We’re in Thanksgiving recovery mode, so it’s time for a special Black Friday Face-Off! You may be nursing a raging feast belly after attempting to induce an L-Tryptophan coma to stave off squirm-worthy questions about “marrying that nice boy you’re living with” (rinse down turkey with wine and repeat). Or you just said no to traditional T-Day and are recovering from the hangover that accompanies watching ThanksKilling with friends and stuffing your face (more bacon, less familial judgment). Fall Out Boy‘s “Thnks fr th Mmrs” and Dido‘s “Thank You” respectively fit either scenario. Whose video reflects your Black Friday mood best?
#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.”
Rihanna has 62 million Facebook fans–a smudge more than the number of Americans who voted in the recent election, according to Andy Cohen. That’s also more than any other artist, even Eminem who once held the top spot. With the release of Unapologetic creeping around the corner, Rihanna is on a schedule of non-stop promos. Yesterday she talked with Bravo’s Andy Cohen for a 25 minute live FB chat; and Riri’s Navy was in the audience live and ratchet. Read more…