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The 8 Most Viral Music Sensations Of 2012

The days of summer beach hopping and brunching outside of lofty restaurant patios in the sun seem like only days ago. Now Christmas is two weeks away, which means 2012 is winding down and 2013 is on the horizon. VH1 Tuner is excited to present to you with a myriad of fun end-of-year lists for the rest of December, as we reflect back on the year that was. And what would 2012 be without the music YouTube phenomenons that made us laugh, scratch our head and dance? Without further ado, here’s to the rising crop of music stars (or at least popular for the moment) who can credit “going viral” for their success.

8. Austin Mahone, “Say Somethin”

He’s not the next Justin Bieber. We’re only writing it because the comparison has been made a zillion times. Austin’s teeny bopper song “Say Somethin” spread quickly in the cyber world after his popularity grew from his covers of pop stars’ hit songs. The kid’s YouTube page of 90 million views and over 500,000 subscribers ultimately led to one of his biggest opportunities to date. From YouTube sensation to opening for Taylor Swift’s her RED tour, another one bites the good ol’ YouTube dust.

7. Rap Battle Royale: Loaded Lux vs. Calicoe

One rap battle, two MCs, lyrically spar for bragging rights as the dopest rapper. This year’s most noteworthy battle birthed the infamous quote: “You gon’ get this work.” Loaded Lux and Calicoe battled for over 30 minutes in front of an anxious crowd vigilantly waiting to decide which rapper would hold the championship belt. The video quickly made its way to hip-hop sites galore where Loaded Lux’s “you gon’ get this work” had even Jay-Z tweeting the line. Shoutout to Lux for one of the hottest catchphrases of 2012.

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Jay-Z’s Subway Ride Turns Into A Lesson On Modesty When Asked If He Was Famous

It’s pretty much part of a rapper’s pedigree to have a massive ego. Humility doesn’t exist often in the world of hip-hop as the job entails a bit of braggadocio. Jay-Z isn’t excluded, but modest Jay was captured for a brief moment in his new documentary, Where I’m From: Jay-Z Barclays Center Documentary. On his 43rd birthday he debuted the 24 minute YouTube documentary showing the behind-the-scenes footage of his eight night extravaganza he performed at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center back in October. It’s also the source of the now infamous clip of him riding the NYC subway to Brooklyn. Read more…

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How “Big” Will Big Sean Get In 2013? A Primer On The Man Who Might Be Next Year’s Breakout Hip-Hop Star

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…

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Happy Birthday Jigga Man! 5 Reasons Jay-Z’s Still One Of The Coolest Dudes In The Game At 43

Forty-three looks good on Jay-Z. Popping bottles are in order for Jigga man, but not Cristal since “I used to drink Cristal, the muh’f*cker’s racist/So I switched gold bottles on to that Spade sh*t.” The man has a lot to celebrate this year if for one reason alone: Blue Ivy Carter. Of course when you and a legion of your fans have likened you to the status of god–hence the Hov moniker–toasting to the good life for a plethora of achievements are in order. Jay’s an elder statesman at this point in his career. He’s fresher than guys half his age. We’re celebrating his b-day with five things Hov does at 43 that make him one of the coolest guys in the game. Read more…

by (@Lacezilla)

Bad Timing: Why Meek Mill’s Debut Dreams & Nightmares Got Unfairly Shafted

It’s often said that timing is everything, and Meek Mill’s debut album couldn’t have arrived in a more luckless moment. The eve of his Dreams & Nightmares release brought him eclipsing circumstances in the form of Superstorm Sandy hitting the East Coast, and while folks in the Northeast were battening down the hatches and preparing for the worst, the Philly spitter promoted his album on Twitter heavily, all while sheltering a house full of relatives from the storm.

A number of @-replies and retweets attacking the rapper for being insensitive to the tropical cyclone reality at hand spilled into my Twitter timeline, and I myself, stuck in the house and concerned for friends and family, admittedly thought that maybe the active promotion was in poor taste. And I’m a fan. But can we blame him? Meek Mill had been waiting to release his first full-length album since he was 16-years-old and, conflicted by an influx of somber reports on flooded communities and power-loss, wasn’t about to allow the building odds to thwart his momentum. Read more…

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50 Cent’s “My Life” Featuring Eminem And Adam Levine Is Yet Another Smart Business Move

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…

by (@zaragolden)

Jay-Z Went Truffle Hunting In Italy Last Weekend

Jay-Z, making the white truffle more famous after one visit than the white truffle industry themselves can. Italian newspaper La Stampa boasts a curious report today about Jay, who apparently spent his weekend in the mountains of Northern Italy where he enjoyed egg and spinach ravioli, $10,250 worth of the local blend of wine and $15,400 worth of white truffles with his friends. So awed by all the local flavor, the boy from Brooklyn then suited up and went out in search of a truffle of his own, according to NME:

“Jay-Z even ventured into the woods with a local farmer and his dogs to search out the prized truffle.”

As they should, truffle retailers in the region have taken Jay’s visit as an opportunity to sing of their precious fungi’s praise and to speculate about the possibility of a Hov Bump, the likes of which Cristal champagne and middling New York basketball teams teams have enjoyed. According to The Guardian, “Big spenders on white truffles currently include Chinese millionaires and Gulf sheikhs,” but perhaps the Nathans Hot Dog stand at Jay’s brand new Braclays Center might make use for them?

Jay-Z gives Italian truffle farmers reason to celebrate [NME]

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Dame Dash Is Proud Of Jay-Z And Kanye But Needs A Dr. Phil Session To Speak On The Failed Friendship

Dame Dash gets a bad rap. Since his breakup with Jay-Z a thousand years ago people have written him off as the disgruntled man jealous of Jay’s success. Fans chose a side. That side was the perceived winner’s circle of Hov & Company. Meanwhile the man who is partly responsible for the Roc-A-Fella empire seemed to fade to black. He’d only reappear in the press when there was news of him not paying taxes or going broke splashed across headlines. Today the 41-year-old business savvy former music executive is slowly creeping back on the scene. Read more…