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.
Leave room for a surprise amalgam of celebs who seemingly have no correlation with one another (remember Chris Brown, Deadmau5 and the Foo Fighters in 2012?) and/or an additional performance from Bruce Springsteen or Paul McCartney who have basically become the Grand Marshals of this stuff these days. For those who only tune in for the canned banter between awards, LL Cool J will return as host, but hopefully this time his schtick will not include beat-boxing with a woefully incompetent sidekick. Sorry, Taylor!
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.
Eight stages will rock with a myriad of artists including LL Cool J, New Edition and Charlie Wilson; and crowds will gather around smaller stages for Mint Condition, Blackstreet, Big Daddy Kane and others. Essence Music Festival is a big deal–”one of the most important forums for non-hip-hop black music and culture” according to the New York Times.
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.
[Photo: Getty Images]
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.