Proud southerner here. For that reason I’ve listened to Lil Wayne’s music since he debuted with Hot Boys‘ Get It How U Live in 1996. Over the years I’ve closely followed Wayne’s career and progression from 1999′s The Block Is Hot to 2004′s Tha Carter to 2011′s Tha Carter IV, and all the albums and mixtapes in between; and like slews of southern hip-hop heads, we’ve been fans since he was a 15-year-old kid.
Today I listened to “Staring At The World” from his forthcoming I Am Not A Human Being 2 barely able to stomach the auto-tuned screeching chorus or the struggle lyrics. What has happened with Weezy? Trust I’m not one of the music fans who loathes when an artist with a 20 year career evolves. Change is good; it can be great. But whatever change Weezy’s made in the last four years isn’t one that has advanced his style. His verses, songs and albums are getting progressively worse. Read more…
The proverbial streets still have love for JT. There’s so much agape for Justin Timberlake‘s new single “Suit & Tie” that Billboard predicts the single may sell as many as 400,000 downloads by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, January 20. Considering the song set the Internet ablaze only a little over 48 hours ago, it’s clear JT’s resurgence after a six year hiatus from music was absolutely long overdue. Read more…
People handle breakups differently, and for the wealthy creative types among us, wallowing in self-pity isn’t as attractive a healing method as throwing oneself back into his or her work. Why suffer all by your lonesome when you can pay people to tell you that you’re wonderful? After pop music’s version of Scary Island that reportedly killed the young love between Harry Styles and Taylor Swift over the holidays, the One Direction star was seen entering a London studio with his bandmates earlier this week. And after hanging behind only to lend herself to a new Internet meme, Taylor appears to be doing the same. “Back in the studio. Uh oh…” she tweeted on Thursday evening, days after returning from her holiday gone awry. In this unpredictable world, thank goodness we reliable Taylor to keep us feeling sane.
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.
“I’m (sniffle) on a (sniffle) boat. A one-way ticket to a lonely island, please.”
It seems like only yesterday we were oohing and aahing over the painfully cute/much too perfect photos of Taylor Swift strolling through New York’s Central Park with One Direction‘s Harry Styles. (Probably because it was only yesterday a month ago?) Despite being extremely wealthy and good-looking, it looks like these two won’t be making their musical fantasies a reality, as reports that their fledgling relationship is already over surfaced on Monday. Maybe Taylor wasn’t a fan of Harry’s growing tattoo collection, or quitting her diet of breakfast at midnight helped her realize that she’s been there, done that when it comes to dating barely legal boyfriends? Did Ed Sheeran finally get in the way? More likely, the harsh truth that you never really know someone until you travel together came to bite these two lovebirds in the behind. (Harry always seemed like a sloppy packer to us.)
Then again, it’s hard to commit to using words like “breakup” and “split” given the black-and-forth nature of Taylor (and Justin and Demi’s) various romances, as well as the valuable PR stock her allegiance with 1D provides. Both have new albums out, with ambitious tours slated for 2013 (kicking off in March for Taylor; February for Harry and One Direction). A few weeks of conflicting reports of revenge and reconciliation couldn’t hurt either one–just look at Bieber’s Believe tour; the Bieb may have struggled at points depending on where he stood with Selena Gomez, but fans showed up regardless. But back to the details: Taylor and Harry spent New Year’s Eve together in New York City, capping her live Times Square performance off with a very public makeout among the crowd. Harry did seem a little hesitant to us; maybe he’s not the PDA-type? After ringing in the New Year, the two jetted off to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, where they had enough time to pose for friendly photos with fans and wear pretty sundresses before things fell apart. The Daily Mail says HaylorGate 2K13 ended in an “almighty row” and we’d like to believe it, because the Brits always make things sound better and more serious.
Taylor Swift put up a good fight late in the year, as did One Direction (who have two albums ranking in the top five) and Mumford & Sons. But once again none could top Adele, whose much beloved 2011 album 21 sold another 4.41 million copies this year to top year-end album sales for the second year in a row (just as she did on iTunes). The blustery Brit’s staying power is impressive, but we can’t imagine that there are enough people left of this earth of ours still sans 21 to enable her to keep this up for a third year. But perhaps she could put out a new album that might earn her another two years at the top?
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.
This year a handful of artists surprised us by up and changing their lanes. There were rap stars gone skate stars, name changes, game changes and bass drops, and (mostly!) better. Four, for example:
The Year Of 2 Chainz; or, The Most Successful Rap Name Change Ever
Nobody was more productive than Tauheed Epps in 2012, who, according to some records, tallied something like 98 singles, a BET Rookie of The Year trophy, a No. 1 album and three Grammy nominations to his new name. To his new name, 2 Chainz, that is. Prior to this year, he was going by Tity Boi, one half of Playaz Circle or “Duffle Bag Boy,” or he was simply hanging somewhere off our radar. So why the name change that wrought this best year ever? As he explained once and for all to Shade 45 — “Every single interview I do they like, ‘What’s up with the name change?’ This is the universal answer,” he said — earlier this year, the motivation for the moniker change was threefold: 1. He likes jewelry; 2. It’s more “family friendly;” and, 3. He was ready for a second act. “You know,” he said, “like 2 Chainz, second chance. So I thought that that would have a little more substance.” And what a substantive second chance it has been. 2 CHAAAAINZ!