Since Jay-Z’spress conference in Philadelphia last week we’ve been on pins and needles anticipating the announcement for the lineup of the Made in America festival he’s curating and headlining on September 1 and 2. Jigga man delivered on the goal he’d set for himself asking, “Is it going to push the culture forward?” With such a diverse selection of musical acts crossing multiple genres, we’d say the answer to Jay’s query is unequivocally, “Yes!”
Oh, can we talk about Jay sangging R&B singer D’Angelo (who hasn’t released an album in 12 years) for a minute? Over the weekend D’Angelo made headlines when a GQ profile hit the net with him looking rather scrumptious. The singer is working on an album, and whatever Jay did to get him to perform at Budweiser’s Made in America, we salute you, Jay. As diverse as the list of performers is, even more acts will be announced next week. Jay-Z can check off successful curator from his bucket list.
A rapper hasn’t earned his or her stripes until they publicly announce that they’re leaving the rap game for good. Like Too Short, Jay-Z, 50 Cent and The Game who’ve all threatened to retire, T.I. went on Power 105′s The Breakfast Club and said he wants out because the game has changed. How many times have we heard this song and dance before from other rappers? On The Breakfast Club video interview posted on HipHopDX.com, T.I. said he would be more than happy to fade to the background. “This is what everyone fails to realize. I want out. I want out, man,” he said. “What the game is going to and what has evolved into from a personality standpoint, it goes against what I represent.” By that he means he’s real and the industry is fake. “What I embody, this game contradicts that. I want out. I’m in it because I love music and I have obligations, contractually,” he disclosed. So, if it wasn’t for those contractual obligations T.I. would be perfectly fine focusing on his artists and other endeavors. Read more…
When Jay-Z rapped “MJ at Summer Jam, Obama on the text” on “On to the Next One,” he wasn’t really joking. He really does have it like that. Recently the rapper slash mogul told CNN’s Poppy Harlow he agreed with President Obama’s decision to affirm his belief that same-sex couples should be able to marry. When asked about homosexuals not being able to marry he said, “I’ve always thought [of] it as something that’s still holding the country back. What people do in their own homes is their business,” he added. “It’s no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination, plain and simple.”
In the thick of election season Obama announced his support of same-sex couples having the legal right to marry. His announcement has drawn criticism from both the right and left. As someone who heavily backed Obama in 2008, Hova made it clear he still has the president’s back. Although the criticism has been loud, Jay-Z said it’s not about gaining or losing votes, it’s the right thing to do. “It’s really not about votes, it’s about people,” he said. “Whether it cost him votes or not I think it’s the right thing to do, as a human being.” POW! Jay may have professed his support of the President and gay rights, but according to CNN.com he had nothing to say about Mitt Romney saying he didn’t want to “talk about the man.”
Yesterday Jay-Z announced the Budweiser Made In America festival he will be curating and headlining in Philadelphia. Hopefully, if all goes as planned, next week we will learn of the lineup he’s selected. Fatherhood looks mighty swell on Hov.
No one but Jay-Z can host a press conference with the mayor of a major city standing next to Freeway and have people in the audience yelling, “Hova, Hova, Hova.” Today, the Brooklyn bred rapper, introduced by Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, announced in a press conference that he would not only headline Budweiser’s “Made In America” two day concert in Philadelphia, but that he’s also curating the event.
As the curator, Jay-Z will select all of the musical acts, which puts the power in his own hands for presenting the type of show he’d want to see if he was an attendee. As someone who has been in the music industry for over 15 years and collaborated with artists that reach all across the spectrum, the choices are limitless. On September 1 and September 2, the festival will take place in Fairmount Park and will include other musical acts that haven’t been announced. Tight lipped as usual, Jay would only say that 70% of the musical guests have been confirmed. According to the New York Times, the “concert will assemble an eclectic lineup of rock, hip-hop, R&B, Latin and dance musicians, according to a news release from its organizers.” Read more…
We here at VH1 are strong believers that mothers are worthy of appreciation 365 days a year. That said, this Sunday is the official day we honor those special women in our lives. Seeing as how music has always been expressive and a reflection of the artist’s own life, it only makes sense that everyone from Tupac to Taylor Swift have created songs expressing their love for the woman that brought them into the world. Those songs cover the entire spectrum, from light and fun to heartfelt and emotional. In honor of Mother’s Day, we’ve put together a Spotify playlist of our all-time favorite songs dedicated to moms. Since we don’t sing or rap, we’re leaving it to those that do to honor all the mamas. Happy Mother’s Day!
1. “Dear Mama”- Tupac
Tupac’s ode to his mother Afeni Shakur has to be one of the most touching and well known dedication songs in music.
2. “Mama’s Song” – Carrie Underwood
In this guitar heavy country song, Underwood reassures her mom that her husband to be is a great man, and marrying him doesn’t mean her mom is losing her.
3. “Hey Mama”- Kanye West
“It don’t got to be Mother’s Day or your birthday for me to call and say, ‘Hey, mama.’” When Kanye made this fun track for his mother, we never imagined it’d be the very song he’d perform in her honor after her death. Counting our lucky stars that she was able to hear it before she passed.
4. “The Best Day” – Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift probably has a lot of great days seeing as how she’s one of the biggest country singers and all. But spending quality time with her mom tops the list of best days she’s ever had.
When Boyz II Men’s “A Song For Mama” played on the popular late 90s movie Soul Food, eyes welled with tears. Soulful voices singing lyrics that helms mothers as Queens would make any mama proud. Read more…
If we were to put together a complete list of songs that sampled the work of James Brown, it would easily run over a thousand songs. Of course, the magic that he made on wax is why RollingStone.com labeled him “the most sampled man in the biz.” No one executed funk and soul the way James Brown and his band did.
The man, perhaps best known for classic hits like “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “Say It Loud,” would have turned 79 years-old today. With that in mind, we’d like to wish a happy birthday to the Godfather of Soul! In honor of this special day, we’re giving you this list of 10 incredible songs that never would have been if it wasn’t for the work of JB.
Ye and Jigga were watching the throne alright. James Brown’s musical throne, that is. Along with the Otis Redding (how noble of them to name the song after him) sample of “Try a Little Tenderness,” Brown’s “Don’t Tell a Lie About Me and I Won’t Tell the Truth on You” can be heard right when Kanye appears to be beautifully screaming. Yep, that’s James Brown screaming all over a smash record by two of hip-hop’s biggest stars.
From eight MCs to one. By popular vote, KRS-One is the greatest emcee of the Yo! MTV Raps era. Of the eight lyricists selected for Bracket Madness, it all boiled down to two greats in the end: KRS-One vs. Rakim. Both legends in their own right, KRS-One takes the crown as being the No. 1 dude from the golden era of hip-hop. In a close call, KRS-One was victorious over his opponent by 20%. Here’s our theory as to why KRS-One won.
Rakim’s influence on cats like Biggie, Nas and Jay-Z is undeniable. And while Rakim mastered the art form of rap, popularizing the hustle element of East Coast rap, Rakim never blew up on a mainstream scale. He remained fairly under the radar, which affects ones popularity. KRS-One, bred of the same time period as Rakim, with just as much influence, had more of a presence. He reached a larger audience with his group Boogie Down Productions and battle raps with rappers like MC Shan and Roxanne Shante. His rhymes were also more controversial. Any song like “Sound of Da Police” in which a rapper takes shots at the 5-o is guaranteed to bring attention your way (and a group of admirers). KRS-One introduced reggae, bridging rap, battle and boasting into the genre. There’s no denying the ways in which he rapped ended up helping to shape what hip-hop is today. When two dope MCs with the stature of KRS-One and Rakim go toe-to-toe for a title, there is no real loser because this is hip-hop at its finest. But only one can wear the crown. Well deserved, KRS-One!
We’re not sure exactly where you live, but here in New York City, there’s a palpable feeling of excitement coursing through the streets. After dealing with (an admittedly mild) winter for the last few months, the sun has begun to creep out, resulting in people shedding their winter coats and gearing up for warm weather. With the summer months rapidly approaching, the jockeying for this year’s Song Of The Summer has already begun. British singer Rita Ora is one of the first artists out of the gate to stake a claim in the race with her infectious hit, “How We Do (Party),” a song that is built off the Notorious B.I.G.‘s high-life anthem “Party And Bullsh*t.” (We’ve got the official video for “How We Do” below.)
“To me, ‘party’ and ‘bullsh*t’ summed up a party,” Rita told us when she swung by our VH1 headquarters a few weeks ago. “So we took the quote and turned it into a summer jam.”
The song, which made a huge splash when Jay-Z and Rita showed up to debut in on Z100 back in February, is already stirring up a significant amount of heat, particularly it’s refrain of “Cause when the sun sets baby, on the avenue/I get that drunk sex feeling, yeah when I’m with you.” The hashtag #drunksexfeeling has been popping up on Twitter repeatedly, so we asked the Roc Nation artist if she was ever concerned with that phrase becoming a lightning rod for controversy.
Tonight, legendary emcee Nas joins this season’s Behind the Music alumni of artists like Aaliyah, Nelly, T-Pain, Game and Akon. In the program, the Queens rapper —who entered the hip hop game back in 1994 with the classic Illmatic— opens up about life, love, loss and beef.
Speaking of the latter, Nas’ 2001 rivalry with Jay-Z was, without question, one of hip-hop’s all-time biggest beefs. In this exclusive clip, Nas talks about his reconciliation with one of the game’s biggest luminaries. After the diss records and the hype had dwindled, Nas remembers L.A. Reid asking if he’d be willing to talk to Jay. He went to the studio where Jay was, and like two true New Yorkers whose hearts beat hip-hop, the two dapped each other while laughing. When Nas signed to Def Jam in 2006, Jay-Z said, “You can’t sign an artist of Nas stature. You can only partner with him.”
Watch Behind the Music: Nas tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Read more…
That appears to be the case! In addition to sharing a bunch of awesome photos with the world on her brand new Tumblr, Beyoncé has posted a video of herself discussing the origins of her daughter Blue Ivy Carter’s name. Nope, haters, it’s not a shout-out to the Illuminati; rather, it seems that Beyonce stumbled upon a beautiful sight while walking through the woods in Jamaica (apparently on the same trip where she showed her bare, controversial baby bump for the first and only time for the cameras).
“Woke up this morning, we took a nice little walk, and passed by this beautiful tree,” Beyoncé tells the cameraman in the video above, who is most definitely Jay-Z (you can clearly hear him say “Go” at the very beginning of the video). “I think it’s Blue Ivy, which would be quite appropriate.”
So, there you have it! Beyoncé and Jay-Z named their daughter after a tree. We’re just glad they didn’t walk by a Weeping Willow tree that morning! Then again, maybe that’s what inspired Will and Jada Pinkett Smith?