The world knows that Ladies Love Cool James, but what does LL Cool J love above all else? Some of you might venture a guess that it would be licking his lips (and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong), but the real answer is HATS. Kangols, skullys, baseball hats, newsboy caps, bucket hats, do-rags — you name it, and LL has worn it.
LL Cool J hosted the 2013 Grammys for CBS last night, and leveraged his powerful position at the Tiffany Network to somehow convince Grammy producers that the show should close with a performance by him. (We’re still not sure how he pulled that one off, but hey, more power to him!) Shade aside, LL proved himself to be a pleasant and amiable enough host, but man, his glam squad sure let him down when it came to giving him sufficient amounts of lip balm last night. Read more…
With the 55th Annual Grammy Awards about a month away, the Recording Academy announced the show’s crop of performers on Wednesday morning. Among those taking the stage on February 10: The Black Keys, fun., Mumford and Sons, Rihanna and Taylor Swift. There aren’t many head-scratchers here, as the confirmed acts are among the most highly nominated artists this year– fun. and Mumford and Sons lead all eligible names with six nods each–and personalities like Taylor and RiRi are highly coveted in prime-time events given the amount of pre-show buzz they can stir up with a single tweet or sad photo opp.
The dead of winter hasn’t hit NYC yet but the lineup for the Essence Music Festival has us dreaming of warmer weather and beignets. Every year the EMF is held in New Orleans on Fourth of July weekend to celebrate black music and culture. Brandy, Jill Scott, Maxwell and Keyshia Cole are scheduled to hit the stage for the 19th annual event that takes over the city for four days.
Last summer VH1 flew to New Orleans for the food, music and culture of the city and event. One of The Top 5 Most Entertaining Moments was Dru Hill reuniting on stage! How’s that for a trip down memory lane? Summer, we miss you. Come again soon.
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…
Last night, Taylor Swift revived T-Swizzle for a bout of beat boxing at the Grammy Nominations Concert. Her co-host for the evening, actual rapper LL Cool J, wanted to sing Taylor’s “Mean,” but insisted that he would need a beat. “I can’t sing, so we’re even,” he reasoned, warming Taylor up to the idea. Unfortunately and despite their best efforts, we have to admit: Taylor was on the money when she wagered afterwards that she is “like, 100 percent sure” that their rework will never ever ever get them nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. It was not that good. But look, the effort was cute and they promised to have something better for February’s award ceremony, so no harm no foul? We-eeeEE!
The world is hers. Taylor Swift has the world eating out of the palm of her hand. Whether it’s the latest cool gig of co-hosting the Grammy nominations television special with LL Cool J or RED‘s projected sales of over one million in its first week, Taylor Swift is winning. The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night will be taped in her hometown of Nashville, TN airing on December 5. But wait a minute? LL Cool J and Taylor Swift seem like such an odd co-hosting pair. Read more…
The results are in from the Round One match up of the best MCs of Yo! MTV Raps era. The king of battle rap KRS-One beat Chuck D by about 34%. Listen, that’s better than the landslide win Ice Cube had over Fresh Prince racking up 84% of the votes versus 14%. We still love the freshest prince of Bel-Air, and he could rap the theme song to “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to us any day.
With only a six percent difference, it was a close call between LL Cool J and Rakim. Ultimately, one of the greatest emcees of all-time, Rakim, came out victorious. Queen Latifah lost to MC Lyte, which we think has everything to do with Lyte’s indelible first album that has been deemed a classic.
It’s getting down to the nitty gritty in round two with only four emcees left gunning for that #1 spot. East Coast word slayer KRS-One knuckles up on West Coast reformed gangster Ice Cube. Meanwhile, the street poetry spitting Rakim takes the raw female emcee MC Lyte.
What are you waiting for? Vote for the emcee you want to see advance to round three. Voting ends Friday, April 27 at 11 a.m. ET/PT.
Is it really fair to put anyone against Rakim? If there is one consistent name that appears on lists of greatest MCs of all time, hands down, it’s Rakim. We think his contender LL Cool J is up for the challenge. LL may be acting more than rapping these days, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still have bars. I shudder just thinking of “Second Round KO” directed at Canibus or “To Da Break of Dawn” aiming shots at Kool Moe Dee, Ice-T and MC Hammer. He’s sold 7.5 million albums with five top 40 hits on the Billboard charts. He’s known for popular tracks like “I Need Love” that show a glimpse of his softer side, and “Mama Said Knock You Out” that solidifies his toughness. Do not get it twisted. LL will wax you on wax. Get it?
Rakim is a legendary emcee. Lyrically, he’s so amazing you don’t feel comfortable calling him a rapper — only emcee will suffice. Not only was his debut album with friend Eric B deemed a classic, Paid in Full was considered the greatest hip-hop album of all time by MTV. There’s no sense in even naming the rappers he’s influenced because it’s pretty much everyone worth their rap credentials. Steve Huey of Allmusic.com said, “Rakim is near-universally acknowledged as one of the greatest MCs —perhaps the greatest— of all-time within the hip-hop community.” That said, whereas LL became a household name, Rakim never reached massive mainstream success. With Eric B., he released four albums, only completing three solo projects. He took a 10 year hiatus between his second (The Master) and third (The Seventh Seal) album. He only sold two million records in his over 20 year career. But what Rakim lacked in commercial success he makes up in talent.
This one’s going to be juicy. Vote to advance your favorite Yo! MTV Raps era emcee to the next round. Voting closes on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET. Read more…
Now that you’ve had your nostalgia fix with 40 Greatest Yo! MTV Raps Moments, we’re letting you decide the eight greatest emcees of that era. It’s the ultimate face off! You vote for your favorite contenders hoping they advance to the next round. But only one will walk away with the coveted title of “Greatest MC of the Yo! MTV Raps Era.”
In Round One, Chuck D. takes on KRS-One, and Ice Cube is matched up against Fresh Prince. Both Chuck D. and KRS are said to be at the top of any lyricism list. That will be a close call. With Ice Cube and Fresh Prince you have a west coast, former N.W.A. member versus the fun “Parents Just Don’t Understand” creator. We’re not even sure if that’s a fair match up. How will you decide between LL Cool J vs. Rakim? And, of course, we couldn’t leave out the women of hip-hop with Queen Latifah vs. MC Lyte.
Vote for your favorite emcee if you want to see them take the crown! Round One is open from 11 a.m. today to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25. Round two opens from 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25 to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 27. The final round voting opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 27 and closes at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 30. Check back daily to see who is on top.