With the exception of Pharrell, it’s been a slow start to 2014 in terms of new music we want to listen to while jumping around our bedroom. Thankfully Sia just went and infused our never-ending winter with some much-needed powerful pop, sure to carry us into spring. At the surface, “Chandelier” — which many are calling the best “Rihanna song” of 2014 –is an unapologetic party anthem that celebrates excessive drinking and hazardous at-home aerial activities. But with the Australian’s soaring vocals it becomes a metaphor for much 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.
We’ve seen the tattoos and we’ve heard the stories of it tragically back-firing, so there’s certainly no denying that Drake’s (or Rick Ross’?) You Only Live Once motto wasn’t one of the biggest this year.
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.
2012 has been an interesting year for the music business. As chart genres shift and technology continues to influence how and what we consume, in-flux trends seem to fly in out of nowhere.The viral sensation breakout star, for example. But can we go back to basics for just a moment? These people are here to entertain us and sing, right? Like, into microphones and send sound waves into the universe. Whether their songs permeated the charts all year or their pipes are ones to keep an eye out in the future, the following 15 voices were the most noteworthy in 2012.
In addition to being the voice behind David Guetta’s “Titanium” and Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” this year, Sia also wrote the lyrics and melody for Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and her talent should be recognized, damn it.
3. Kendrick Lamar
Through storytelling, K-Dot has the versatility to sound nervous, vulnerable and shrieky, macho and intimidating, soft and robotic, Compton tough, and instructively monotone.
Jessie Ware isn’t cut from the same cloth as most of today’s powerhouse female singers. Rather than aping the melismatic overtures and excessively dramatic runs made famous by the Mariahs and Christinas of the world (and that, sadly, have become omnipresent in shows like The Voice and The X Factor), Ware fully understands when the time is right to lay back in the pocket, vocally, and when to unleash her seductively strong voice. This ability has earned her many well-deserved comparisons to Sade, and propelled her debut LP, Devotion, to the top of many critics’ Best of 2012 write-ups.
The 28-year-old British soul singer launched a whirlwind, two-stop, cross-country showcase at The Box in New York City last night —she’ll perform in Los Angeles on December 13 before returning to the United States for a proper tour this January— and was the recipient of rapturous applause throughout the course of her 10 song, 50 minute set (including some from You Oughta Know artist Sia, who we spotted sitting in a booth directly adjacent to the stage). Her sound fuses Blue Lines era Massive Attack style atmospherics with sultry R&B grooves which, on wax, serves as the perfect backdrop for those evenings when it’s imperative to chill. Live, however, Ware’s voice reaches dimensions that aren’t entirely present on her album. On “Swan Song,” for instance, her pleas of “Help me to escape” were given entirely new emotional resonance when Ware shifted her pitch in a dramatically different way than she does on the record, specifically as a means of intensifying the feelings coursing through her veins.
We hate to say we told you so, but… we told you so! All year we’ve been bringing you the best new music so you can stay aurally informed, and if you’ve been doing your homework and keeping abreast of the hottest new acts with us, you’ll notice that more than a few of our amazing You Oughta Know artists, both past and present, scored well-deserved props when the 2013 Grammy Nominees were announced tonight.
Our You Oughta Know alumni scored an impressive 17 nominations in total, including four nominations in the big four categories. Our February 2012 YOK artist Gotye picked up a nomination for Record Of The Year for his song “Somebody I Used To Know,” a song that he performed for a standing room only crowd in our 20th floor lobby earlier this year; our May 2012 You Oughta Know artist Ed Sheeran scored a nomination for Song Of The Year for his haunting ballad “The A Team”; our July pick, The Lumineers, were nominated for Best New Artist; and our YOK friends from way back in 2010, Mumford & Sons, picked up a nod in the Album Of The Year category for their massive new LP, Babel.
Here’s a complete list of the 2013 Grammy nominations that our awesome YOK alums took home tonight. #proud
It’s no real secret that Rihanna doesn’t write her own music, but as Leona Lewis might tell you, just because she can make a song famous does not necessarily mean she always does it best. And so when we first heard “Diamonds,” we noted that Rihanna seemed to be mimicking the song’s author Sia‘s enunciation and vocal quality at times. Sia sounded good on Rihanna, but the eerie verisimilitude got us wondering — if Rihanna’s is this good, just how great could the former You Oughta Know Artist‘s take be?
Sia performed the song at the Norwegian-American Achievement Awards ceremony a few weeks back and — to nobody’s great surprise — it turns out Sia’s version is really, really, very good. Stripped of the glimmering production and 808 thump, her go is interestingly haunted and maybe a bit mournful where Rihanna’s is hopeful and inspiring. Sia’s got a much more expansive vocal range and she was able to open new corners of the her song that’s since become Rihanna’s hit. And because it’s not duplicitous or better but just different, we now have two “Diamonds” to enjoy.
We think that the world is a better place for having both these “Diamonds” out there for out listening pleasure, but what say you: Do you think Sia should have kept “Diamonds” for herself? Or is it better suited for someone so #unapologetic as Rihanna?
Happy Thanksgiving! While you’re savoring the day with friends and family and a big ole’ feast, we’re celebrating with a crew of our favorite artists at the table this year. Here’s what everyone’s bringing:
While that’s getting prepped, Snoop will set up the beverage station — “Gin and Juice,” anyone?
Rick Ross, the real star of this meal, will handle the hors devours: “More better, more cheddar” (“Here I Am”); ”Air train and peanuts, it’s time to slide” (Yung Joc‘s “Brand New”); “Order crab legs with the heavy butter” (“New Bugatti”); some lobster bisque (“I Love My Bitches”); and let’s get an order of those lemon-pepper Wingstop chicken wings, because why not.
Few movies in recent memory have been so good at integrating popular music into their soundtracks as the Twilight saga has been. The soundtracks — complete with up-and-comers like Sea Wolf as well as old pro’s like Thom Yorke — have true and through become a part of the vampire love story that has so gripped America’s teenagers (and, you know, us) by the heart. And so with the Saga drawing to a close tonight, we thought we would revisit some of our favorite musical moments from throughout the series.
Welcome to Week 6 of VH1′s Song Of The Summer Countdown, presented by our friends at Dove Clinical Strength Deodorant. For the third consecutive summer, Katy Perry has managed to keep the #1 spot on lock (See: “California Gurls” in 2010, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” in 2011) with her post-divorce empowerment anthem, “Wide Awake.” That song has been dueling with Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe” for the crown all summer long, but as we near the conclusion of our Song Of The Summer race, a new challenger for the crown has emerged. That’s right, put your lips together for Flo Rida‘s “Whistle!”
Flo, who is performing on VH1′s Do Something Awards tomorrow night, is no stranger to SOTS success himself. Back in 2010, his collaboration with French house DJ supreme David Guetta and Nicole Scherzinger, “Club Can’t Handle Me,” made a run at Perry’s “California Gurls.” It went to #1 in five countries, including the U.K., and cracked the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 thanks in part to the prominent role it played in Step Up: 3D. This summer, his “Whistle” just ousted “Call Me Maybe” from the #1 spot on the Billboard charts, but does he have what it takes to topple Katy?
That, dear readers, is entirely up to YOU. Head over to SOTS.VH1.COM to vote for your the 2012 Song Of The Summer; hundreds of thousands of votes have been cast so far, but there’s still plenty of time to make sure your favorite artist gets their due!
Welcome to Week 3 of VH1′s Song Of The Summer Countdown, brought to you by our good friends over at Dove Clinical Protection Deodorant. Each week from now until Labor Day, VH1 will be keeping tabs on which songs will ultimately come to define the summer of 2012, as measured by their performance across six categories: the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, Billboard‘s Hot 100, Spotify‘s most-streamed songs, the iTunes Singles Chart, YouTube’s music chart, and YOUR VOTES (which, btw, if you haven’t voted yet, you should totally vote now!).
Last week, Katy Perry outmuscled presumptive frontrunner Carly Rae Jepsen to overtake the #1 spot on our countdown, and the top of the chart remains the same this week. Buoyed by a strong number of votes from the Katycat contingent —only One Direction‘s “What Makes You Beautiful” and Pitbull and Shakira‘s “Get It Started” received more fan votes on sots.vh1.com— Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” is staying put in the #1 position this week. (Subscribe to our VH1 Song Of The Summer 2012 playlist on Spotify!)
That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have some challengers, though! In addition to Carly Rae Jepsen’s summer smash, Flo Rida’s “Whistle” lept up three spots to #7 this week, and the aforementioned One Direction climbed from #17 all the way to #7 with their irresistable hit, “What Makes You Beautiful.” Who will be on top next week? Be sure to check back with us all week for updates, and don’t forget to vote for the Song Of The Summer over at sots.vh1.com! (Oh, and if you want to see how this week’s chart was formulated, check out our super detailed/nerdy chart below.)