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.
In a recent Rolling Stone article, A$AP Rocky explained that “nowadays, everybody wanna be weird. We know how to manifest being weird. We know we some weird-ass looking motherf**kers, and we know we do some weird sh*t.” He continued, “But at the same time, we some geniuses.”
While we’re not entirely sure that we agree with the “genius” tag, it does seem that suddenly every artist is out to “out-weird” each other. Whether it’s what Ke$ha‘s studding, what shoes Lil Wayne‘s rocking, or what Lil B‘s prophesizing, artists are competing to be the most unique and we just can’t get enough of it. Normal is just so boring, isn’t it? The art of music is all about expressing individuality in its purest form, and artists who don’t just let their tunes do the talking are the most appealing to us. We love these artists for embracing their individuality, their unique weirdness, that sets them apart. Brace yourself for our list of the Top 10 Weirdos in Music Today (And Why We Love Them For It).
The false rumors had it that Watch the Throne would have a surprise digital release, which actually isn’t a bad strategy, as far as avoiding leaks is concerned. In fact, Lil B did exactly that two days ago; his new album I’m Gay showed up for sale on iTunes late Wednesday night. “I Hate Myself,” the album’s eighth track, samples a monster hit from a 1998 soundtrack. See if you can guess it without clicking. (Hint: the song holds the record for most weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart.)
For more thoughts on Lil B, click over to The Awl, where Dave Bry used “three makes a trendpiece” logic to talk about how young rappers like Lil B, Tyler the Creator, and Drake are referencing Marvin Gaye in order to permit themselves to talk about their feelings (while punning on the Motown legend’s last name). Or check the rave review penned by Lupe Fiasco, whose video for “Out of My Head,” featuring Trey Songz, premiered yesterday on MTV.
If you haven’t already heard of Kreayshawn, the white, female rapper from Oakland, California has been snagging some serious buzz on the internets since she released her video for “Gucci Gucci” two weeks ago. Being chummy with Soulja Boy, “Based God” Lil B, and members of the hardcore L.A. rap collective Odd Future certainly hasn’t hurt the tiny, blunt-smoking lady-goon’s popularity, and rumors are swirling that she landed a million-dollar record deal with Sony over the weekend. Her quirky lyrics might make us giggle, but why should she be on your radar, and what does all the hoopla around her really stem from?
“Gucci Gucci” is an ode to Kreayshawn’s own flyness, but what makes us scratch our heads the most while watching this braggadocio-laden clip is the fact that the loudly-dressed, foul-mouthed rapper announces she’s openly into girls. Lots of girls. And she’ll even snatch up YOUR bitches — at her leisure. But is this bi-curious shtick organic? If it is, more power to her; we’re just a bit skeptical because, frankly, we’ve seen it before. Especially recently. It almost seems like becoming a successful female pop star these days means pseudo-lesbianism is baked into the artist’s marketing plan!
Just take a look at our list of five female artists below; they’re at the top of their game and crushing competitors, but at one point or another, they all allegedly dabbled in bisexual or gay experimentation. But was it Truth or Farce?
Raphael Saadiq, Christina Perri, and the Cars all released records this week, but for many teenage music fans, only one new record is worth talking about: Goblin by Tyler, the Creator, the relatively unknown rapper who’s the best of a pack of SoCal skater kids (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All) making deliberately confrontational music because they think it’s funny. The group’s famous fans include Adele and Mos Def. And they’ll happily call out those who aren’t paying attention: on his single “Yonkers,” Tyler claims he’ll “stab Bruno Mars in his g**damn esophagus,” prompting the You Oughta Know favorite to quip to Spin that he “has to wait in line if he wants to stab me.” All this attention has led some to question the shock value of the sometimes-violent rhymes, especially on the subjects of women and homosexuality.
Sorry, Lil B! A decidedly less “based” rapper has copped your style and beaten you to the news-cycle-rap punch. Hot Rod, a 2006 50 Cent signee who was swiftly dropped by Interscope and then, in late 2010, re-signed by 50 to G-Unit’s new pop, dance and R&B subsidiary G-Note, rushed to the studio last night to record, master, and premiere the singular “Osama bin Laden Is Dead.”
The sidechained Eurotrance and party-lyrics (“Osama was killed tonight, so everybody come and have a good time!”) of Hot Rod’s would-be anthem are not dissimilar to his January single “Dance with Me.” But lyrically, “Osama bin Laden Is Dead” is deeply indebted to O Music Awards performer (and The Pack member) Lil B, who has spent the last two years creating a cottage industry (and a devoted fanbase?one fan even snuck behind Geraldo Rivera during Fox News’s coverage of bin Laden’s death and shouted the common fan tribute “THANK YOU BASED GOD”) by rapping about anything and everything, including twitter trending topics and other pop stars like Charlie Sheen and Justin Bieber: