Happy New Year! While we were out celebrating, many musicians hit stages across the country to help ring in 2013 in grand style. Let’s relive the magic of the eve with a few of our favorite performances:
Taylor Swift rang in the new year in Times Square, wearing a glittering red moto-jacket and black leather pants, and with just a dash of trouble. A very hyped up version of “I Knew You Were Trouble,” her new single and her foray into dub-step, that is. The chorus’ much ballyhooed about wubb-wubbs were dialed all the way up for the occasion, and matched with some impressive pyrotechnics. There was also a little calypso added to the second verse, because why not? Then she transitioned into “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” not a beat missed and the cute “this is exhausting” skit and all. And of course she and her new beau, One Direction‘s Harry Styles, sealed the night with a kiss. Aww!
As Times Square gets ready for the influx of hundreds of thousands of revelers here to celebrate the arrival of 2013 Anno Domini, the Korean sensation PSY is plotting to retire his massive YouTube hit, “Gangnam Style.” “Being in Times Square on New Year’s Eve is already special — it’s the biggest stage in the universe — plus it’s my birthday, so, with all that, it may be the ending of ‘Gangnam Style,’” PSY told our friends over at MTV News. “I mean, what better way to do it?”
We couldn’t agree more! As much as we loved “Gangnam Style” when we first saw it appear on YouTube, we have no reservations whatsoever about retiring the song in 2013 because, let’s face it, the song is #PLAYEDOUT. In that spirit, here’s our list of other songs from 2012 that we hope to hear tonight and will always recall fondly, but honestly hope to never hear again once the sun rises tomorrow morning.
12 SONGS FROM 2012 THAT WE HOPE WE NEVER HEAR IN 2013
12. The Lumineers, “Ho Hey” – After thousands of listens, “Ho! Hey!” is starting to turn into “No! Way!”
11. Neon Trees, “Everybody Talks” – It started with a whisper, but when we hear this song on the radio now, it makes us wanna shout “CHANGE THE CHANNEL!”
10. One Direction, “Little Things” – We can’t remember a more passive-aggressive song ever getting this much airplay. #cringeworthy Read more…
Whether it arrives via an artist’s song lyrics, ad-libs or in the form of a routine sound while performing on stage, your favorite rappers and singers are constantly dropping consumable anecdotes for the masses. If they’re lucky, these catchphrases are repeated and mimicked often enough to eventually be added to the popular-culture lexicon, used as amusing mantras for us all to drop in text messages and into tweets as #hashtags. Some might even make it into the dictionary.
This year, especially, delivered a treasure trove of jack-able artist quotes, and while you might wish that most of these never make it into 2013, we present you with a nostalgic look at this year in music verbiage: 2012’s Most Memorable One-Liners.
2. “(Pop A) Molly”
We can all rattle off a list of rappers who (over)used this designer drug reference in 2012, but here’s hoping that Meek, Kanye, French, Trinidad James, Ross and others can find a new addiction to flaunt come January 1.
3. “Oh God”
Like a cheerleader for himself, Detroit’s G.O.O.D Music member Big Sean knows how to announce himself before spitting a verse. Alternate spellings include gawd and gaud.
It’s a good year when a video of the leader of the free world singing Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together” is uploaded to YouTube. President Obama’s very good Al Green attempt wasn’t the only video that had us clicking. Strange things happen when cell phones with video recorders meet the Internet. And this is why we’re most thankful to the almighty YouTube gods.
It’s been one hell of a year for online sensations. Going viral isn’t a prerequisite to making our list of the year’s best online videos. It’s not about the number of Internet scavengers who viewed a whacky video (although it’s a pretty good indicator of how great a phenomena it is). Whatever made us laugh until our bellies ached, smile so hard while thinking, ‘How cuuuute!’ or made us hit the replay button more than once, it made the list. From Jay-Z explaining who he was to an elderly woman on the subway to a grandma dancing to Tyga‘s “Rack City,” we loved it all.
Our countdown continues with the 12 of Music’s Breakout Stars of 2012. It’s been a glorious year musically with diverse projects by promising new artists. While Frank Ocean‘s stardom is no surprise, who would’ve expected PSY to sing with Bieber‘s manager Scooter Braun? Meek Mill sketched his name in cement as one of hip-hop’s brightest stars this year transitioning from mixtape storyteller to mainstream success. How good 2013 will treat these breakout stars is unforeseeable, but with raised glasses let’s all toast to the year of stars coming out (no pun intended). Read more…
Would you like to see something that you’ve never seen before? Open YouTube in a new tab and search for “Psy” — chances are good that you’ve done this before, but stick with us! — and his “Gangnam Style.” What the video until you’re all “Oppan!”-ed out, and then shift your eyes to where the view-counter below the video. Do you see that? A ten-digit number, punctuated by a very cute animated Psy, because “Gangnam Style” has become the first video in the history of the internet to reach one billion views and what better way is there to celebrate than with a giddy-up GIF! WE DID IT!
When we began compiling our Best Songs of 2012 list, there were many differing opinions, and after briefly toying with the idea of pitting all our staff against one another in a Hunger Games fight-to-the-death scenario against the backdrop of Times Square, we conceded that the most diplomatic and least murderous thing to do would be to each submit our own list. You know, in the name of preserving a civil work environment and whatnot (not to mention our longstanding policy of avoiding contact with the human resources department). So while we didn’t battle it out in a conference room or some such nonsense, each one of us faced an internal battle — choosing our favorite songs of the year.
As far as consensus is concerned, there were 21 songs that appeared on multiple ballots, but only eight that appeared on three or more lists: Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe” (4 ballots), Frank Ocean‘s “Pyramids” (4 ballots), fun.‘s “We Are Young” (4 ballots), Gotye‘s “Somebody I Used To Know” (3 ballots), P!nk‘s “Just Give Me A Reason” (3 ballots), Usher‘s “Climax” (3 ballots), Azealia Banks‘ “212” (3 ballots), and Miguel‘s “Adorn” (3 ballots).
(Btw, before we get into this, we’d like to note that we put together the following Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure: VH1 Staffers Pick Their Favorite Songs Of 2012. It’s sequenced in alpha order by artist first name, so we wholeheartedly recommend you hit Shuffle while listening to this 92 track playlist. Now, on with the show…)
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.
Over the weekend Psy found himself — and his especially sparkly red sweater! — at the White House’s annual Christmas in Washington charity holiday concert, performing a Oppan Christmas Style remix of “Gangnam Style” for President Barack Obama and the First Family just days after footage of his perhaps too-spirited anti-American protest performance from 2002 had brought the Internet’s love affair with the giddy-up dance to an awkward halt. Psy was quick to apologize, accounting the song’s graphic lyrics to “a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two Korean schoolgirls” and expressing regret for “any pain I have caused by those words,” and the President reportedly politely shook his hand post-performance. And so while some may still be concerned by Psy’s less giddy past, we’re going to go ahead and rejoice that fact that Christmas this year may be very merry and Gangnam style after all.
There are two big Psy stories floating around today, one that’s nice and another that’s other less so. Let’s start with the good news, shall we?
Apparently Psy is on track to end the year nearly 1 billion YouTube views and $8.1 million dollars richer. According this AP report, the the South Korean pop star that taught the world to giddy-up dance has been seriously racking in the revenue from YouTube ads and iTunes downloads. So there we have it: there’s plenty of money to be made in music, you just have to be Taylor Swift and/or a viral sensation.
This next story is less expected, and unfortunately it’s significantly less heart warming, too: