Happy New Year! While we were out celebrating, many musicians hit stages across the country to help ring in 2013 in grand style. Let’s relive the magic of the eve with a few of our favorite performances:
Taylor Swift rang in the new year in Times Square, wearing a glittering red moto-jacket and black leather pants, and with just a dash of trouble. A very hyped up version of “I Knew You Were Trouble,” her new single and her foray into dub-step, that is. The chorus’ much ballyhooed about wubb-wubbs were dialed all the way up for the occasion, and matched with some impressive pyrotechnics. There was also a little calypso added to the second verse, because why not? Then she transitioned into “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” not a beat missed and the cute “this is exhausting” skit and all. And of course she and her new beau, One Direction‘s Harry Styles, sealed the night with a kiss. Aww!
It’s a good year when a video of the leader of the free world singing Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together” is uploaded to YouTube. President Obama’s very good Al Green attempt wasn’t the only video that had us clicking. Strange things happen when cell phones with video recorders meet the Internet. And this is why we’re most thankful to the almighty YouTube gods.
It’s been one hell of a year for online sensations. Going viral isn’t a prerequisite to making our list of the year’s best online videos. It’s not about the number of Internet scavengers who viewed a whacky video (although it’s a pretty good indicator of how great a phenomena it is). Whatever made us laugh until our bellies ached, smile so hard while thinking, ‘How cuuuute!’ or made us hit the replay button more than once, it made the list. From Jay-Z explaining who he was to an elderly woman on the subway to a grandma dancing to Tyga‘s “Rack City,” we loved it all.
A little holiday cheer is needed between Philly rappers Meek Mill and Cassidy. The eggnog is still chilling in the fridge from Christmas, but that didn’t stop the Twitter beef and diss records from dropping. Hip-hop battles take no days off. From what we can gather the feud is merely a battle over the old (Cassidy) vs. the new (Meek Mill) taking the former’s spot. Because God forbid two rappers from the same city be on top. Read more…
2012 was the year of being or getting #turntup. Crunk songs encouraging partying, drinking and the good life were the soundtrack to turning up. French Montana‘s “Pop That” instructed women on how to, err, pop their booties at a party or club. It easily was one of the summer’s most popular anthems. In the same vein was Juicy J‘s “Bands A Make Her Dance” which suggests rolls of money secured by a rubber band will indeed make a girl dance. Not that we frequented the strip club or anything, but word on the street is strippers made this their unofficial theme song.
Other crunk songs had less to do with booty popping or stripping and more to do with intimacy–straight grown and sexy style. Take for instance Kelly Rowland‘s “Motivation” that inspired a body roll whether you were at your desk at work or in your car at a red light. Fun.‘s “We Are Young” isn’t your typical crunk song, however, if the DJ played this song at a party you witnessed the crowd going wild. So without further ado, here’s 16 of the year’s crunkest songs. Shout out to the artists for enabling our turned up ways. 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…
The cost of fame often comes with a hefty price tag. Frank Ocean may be the latest celebrity to find out how shady family can become when all they see is signs, all they see is dollar signs (don’t judge us for our quick Rihanna impromptu). In the wee hours of the night Frank used Twitter to vent about his father suing him for a million dollars. “Father wanna sue me for a million. Like I owe him back child support. Weak individual bought me a swiss knife at 6yrs old then dipped on me,” he tweeted, which has since been deleted. Read more…
Hip hop caught a really big L at last night’s 12.12.12 Concert For Sandy Relief. In a perfect world, where music fans’ interests were in harmonious alignment, Kanye West performing between The Who and Billy Joel would have been a well-received and seamless transition. In reality, however, Yeezy seemed to hit wall with the big-ticket 12.12.12 audience, performing a set that — for an artist known for cultivating fan enthusiam at his shows — was not only incapable of fully forming a connection, but also appeared to drain Kanye and chip away at his normal passionate delivery. There solely to raise money for victims of Hurricane Sandy, it soon became clear that the G.O.O.D. Music capo was frustrated with the room.
Back in February, Kanye’s big brother Jay-Z hosted two consecutive nights in New York City’s distinguished Carnegie Hall. Bringing out the city’s uppercrust, Beyonce’s husband joined hands with the United Way and sold out both shows to raise money for a cause of his own, the Shawn Carter Foundation. But last night was different. The baby boomer crowd at MSG didn’t buy tickets to see Kanye West like folks did for Hov at Carnegie — they came to bathe in the nostalgia of beloved rock acts that they’ve been playing for decades. Unfortunately for Kanye, the booking itself was a recipe for rejection.
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.
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 BattleRoyale: 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-Ztweeting the line. Shoutout to Lux for one of the hottest catchphrases of 2012.
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…
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…