Many praises go to whoever is responsible for Beyonce joining Tumblr. Checking daily to see if Queen Bey has uploaded new photos has become quite the guilty pleasure. The 30-year-old new mom is notoriously private about her personal life, but mommyhood has opened her up more now than ever before. Over the weekend she gifted the world with family photos from her trip to Texas and her overseas travels where she Watch(ed) The Throne. Jay-Z, Solange and Tina Knowles make a cameo in the photos of the family living the good life. Be prepared to let out a loud “Awwwwww” when you see the back of baby Blue Ivy Carter with her Watch The Throne t-shirt while mama Bey feeds her a bottle. And Jay-Z pushing Bey on the swing? It doesn’t get much better than this ladies and gentleman. Read more…
BILLS, BILLS, BILLS NO MORE: JAY-Z AND BEYONCE HAVE TAKEN THE THRONE
Forbes has anointed Jay and Bey the Highest-Paid Celebrity Couple this year, having earned a cool $40 million between them in music sales alone. [Idolator]
THE OLYMPIC CLOSING CEREMONY WILL BE “THE GREATEST AFTER-PARTY IN THE WORLD”
Medals have been awarded and heroes have been made, but the end is nearing and now the rumors start spinning: the music director for the the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony says Sunday’s event will include 20 British artists performing 30 pieces of music, “like spinning plates and they’re all on fire.” Among in those 20 acts? Almost definitely Muse, Kate Bush if we’re lucky, and probably not Ed Sheeran but definitely not Pink Floyd. And please, please, puh-lease someone make sure the Spice Girls are there. [NME]
Beyonce left the entire ‘net in suspense when she posted a cryptic message on her website stating, “Leave Your Footprint on August 19″ accompanied with a foggy blue picture. Since then she’s announced her goal of directing a documentary about herself, but that didn’t solve the mystery. Wait no longer, folks. According to Popdust, in conjunction with the United Nations and World Humanitarian Day, Beyonce will release a video for 4′s “I Was Here.” The video for the Diane Warren penned ballad was filmed at the UN’s General Assembly in front of a live audience. Mark your calendars (and our word), Queen B will crash the Internet on August 19. Read more…
Not willing to sit around and wait for someone else to do it, Beyoncé has decided that the world needs a Beyoncé and that she’s the one most fit to make it. According to the Los Angeles Times, Bey and her agents have begun shopping a film — “a mix of music and personal study, blending concert footage with confessional interview,” to be directed by Beyoncé herself — to Hollywood studios. Pop star, mom and wife, actress, blogger extraordinaire — if anyone is fit to do it all, we would count the Queen B. This project should be fast tracked in no time.
Last summer, she starred in (but did not direct) a mini-documentary about the run up to and making of her album 4. Beyoncé: Year of 4 included footage of Bey floating in the Red Sea (“The coral was spectacular!”), making ROC diamond shadow puppets with her nephew Juelz, and whittling down a track-list with Jay in a label boardroom. Running just twenty minutes, it was an intimate and insightful look into one of today’s biggest stars, and we can only anticipate what a full-length feature, à la Katy Perry’s Part of Me or Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never, might show. More Blue Ivy, that best be for sure.
Re-live the magic of Beyoncé: Year of 4 below!
J. Cole doesn’t care about Twitter. We’re guessing having graduated from the School of Jay-Z (yes, we made that up), he understands the art of mystery. After a three month Twitter hiatus Cole reappeared Thursday night with new music. Behind the scenes he’s been touring with Big K.R.I.T and making new music. The North Carolina native dropped his latest track “The Cure,” which samples Jay-Z and Kanye‘s “Lift Off” from the Watch the Throne album. Over Beyonce‘s vocals from “Lift Off,” Cole addresses haters, Twitter, beef and what he considers weak songs rappers drop every week. If you’re expecting him to name anyone specific–don’t. That’s not his style. He raps, “Cole World/the new Nat King/If I ain’t the illest n—- I’m his new vaccine/Really more like poison when it’s New Jack Swing/And my bed is like a deck of cards/Two black queens.” And that’s just the opening bar. There’s no other way to say it: J. Cole kills it! Whatever the ailment, J.Cole has “The Cure.”
J.Cole- The Cure [2 Dopeboyz]
[Photo: Getty Images]
GREEN DAY PAY MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO AMY WINEHOUSE IN NEW SONG
The track will close their upcoming album ¡Dos! And appropriately so, according to Billie Joe Armstrong, who feels connected to the fallen star though they never met. “It’s interesting because if you think about ¡Dos!, it’s a party record, and so at the end of it ‘Amy’ kind of comes across as the consequences of the party,” he says. Intriguing! [NME] Read more…
If we promise to buy all of the Duracell Powermats, could we get a call from Beyonce, too? A new ad for the wireless phone charging station features not only Jay-Z‘s “Run This Town,” but also a rare cameo from the man and Duracell spokesman himself. The short spot stars a busy New Yorker who uses a Powermat to keep his phone at 100 percent charge all day so that, at the club at end of the night, his phone still in the green, he can pick up a ringing phone that he’s mistaken as his own. “B” is calling, and he’s not sure who that is until a hand — Jay’s hand — reaches in from above. “Yeah,” he nods as the guy hands it over. When Jay signed-up for the gig in January, he suggested that he believes Duracell and their Powermats are “providing the solutions for the future.” Which, sure! Why not. What we here at Tuner believe in, though, is a world where Jay’s got Beyonce saved as just “B” in his phone, and a future where we might all have the same! Where do we get one of these Powermats?
On America’s Independence Day, Frank Ocean finally got free. He took to his personal Tumblr to clear up the chatter started by an UK journalist’s speculations that songs on his album referenced the pronoun “he” as it relates to love. He wrote a beautiful note, originally intended for the liner notes of his major label debut channel ORANGE, that candidly and masterfully told the story of his first love—a man—who was too afraid to love him back. The shockwaves from this announcement were immediate; thankfully, instead of enduring a tidal wave of negativity, an outpouring of support flooded onto social networks from fans and celebrities (such as Jay-Z, Beyonce, 50 Cent and Rita Ora) alike. His courageous admission was the first time a young, black male R&B singer had openly admitted to loving someone of the same sex.
Given the troubled history that hip-hop, and the community that creates it, has had with homophobia, many are asking whether or not Frank’s revelation points to the genre’s growing acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality and, ultimately, individuality.
Well, in the decades before Frank Ocean became a rising star, hip-hop prided itself on hyper-masculinity, and proving one’s manhood, which unfortunately meant disassociating yourself from anything that could be perceived as “gay.” To wit, calling a rapper “gay” was the worst insult you could hurl their way. Even as the culture-at-large became more PC, this stance did not change much in the hip-hop community; petty catchphrases like “no homo” are still used to this day as to tell the world “Hey, I’m not gay. And saying no homo puts me in the clear.” Literally countless rappers have used offensive homophobic slurs in their lyrics, hence the attention being paid to Frank Ocean’s confession.
No one could’ve predicted the massive support Frank Ocean ended up receiving from the hip-hop community. As an R&B artist (not hip-hop artist as he is oftentimes conveniently labeled), his transparency had the potential to end his budding career. Ten years ago, it almost certainly would have. Luckily for Frank, people and the genre are headed in the direction of progression. But I wouldn’t jump the gun to proclaim it’s a new day that left behind the rotten stench of homophobia in rap.
Accepting Frank is one thing. It’s quite another to talk about how homosexuality is/was/will be addressed by rappers in the future. Supporting the channel ORANGE singer does not mean that the F word —the six letter one, not the four— will not be used in rap records. It also doesn’t mean that mindsets have completely changed. If artists publicly root for Frank, but covertly wouldn’t have a close gay friend because of fear of turning gay (as if there’s a such thing), or still say no homo, or still rap lyrics laced with derogatory remarks about gay people, then is the acceptance really a facade?
Hip-hop as a genre has changed; hip-hop as a culture has changed too. In an interview with MTV.com, Juicy magazine Editor-in-Chief Paula T. Renfroe said, “Hip-hop also has grown, society as a whole has grown and that’s the beauty of hip-hop, it reflects our culture and our society.” The fact that there is room for a male singer to sing about loving another man without backlash is an example of a huge stride both genres—R&B and hip-hop—have made.
Maybe Ocean’s bravery is huge step toward the right direction, or perhaps behind closed doors (which is likely) the hip-hop community’s feelings toward the LGBTQ community doesn’t mirror the hurtful ugly slurs. Whether hip-hop is forever changed by such a historic moment is unknown. But it is worth the question: Where do we go from here?
Did you watch that video we posted yesterday, the one of the fierce kid in a snuggie doing Beyonce? It undoubtedly deserves all sorts of awards for it’s attention to detail and good humor, but it just earned something better yet: the high praise of Beyoncé herself, who thinks that he-so-fierce “did this video better than I did.” She wrote just that on her blog, adding also a smiley face emoticon and a “Love, B” for good measure.
Yes, P!nk is known for her feisty personality as the person that says what everyone else is thinking. Take for instance her throwing shade on Twitter about Chris Brown‘s lip-syncing performance at the Billboard Awards, or the “Stupid Girls” song dedicated to, well, stupid girls. But it’s the hits she churns out consistently that she’s best known for. “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” the first single from the forthcoming The Truth About Love, rose 49 positions making it the No. 9 song on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. And that No. 9 position gives her more top 10 hits than Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Considering her 12 year career there’s no surprise there. Read more…